Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation Information
Rehabilitation can be a crucial component to head & neck cancer care. Unfortunately, as a result of cancer treatment, there can be changes to speech, voice, swallowing and/or various other functions. Having a rehabilitation team experienced in caring for head & neck cancer patients can greatly improve the overall outcomes of the rehabilitation process. The Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas offers patients comprehensive and interdisciplinary collaboration between the physicians as well as the speech pathologists to allow for the best possible outcomes. In addition to clinical expertise, the skilled clinicians have the most advanced techniques and methods available to evaluate and treat the unique needs of every rehabilitation patient.
The Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas speech pathology department is the largest of it’s kind in North Texas and offers comprehensive evaluation, education and therapy as needed throughout the cancer treatment process and after. Rehabilitative services are available at several locations and also offer convenient Saturday appointments. Here is a brief description of some of the rehabilitative services offered. More comprehensive information including educational videos can be found at: www.PracticalSLPinfo.com
Swallowing is a complex function that uses many different muscles and structures in the head & neck region. As a result, some patients may experience difficulty or changes to their swallow ability (dysphagia). The Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas offers comprehensive endoscopic and/or fluoroscopic evaluations of swallowing to best diagnose swallowing issues and help develop a rehabilitation plan to improve swallow function and ability. More information on swallowing evaluation and treatment can be found here (link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/swallowing1.html)
Unfortunately, speech changes can occur as a result of head & neck cancer treatment, particularly those involving the mouth and palate. The rehabilitation team of the Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas will conduct a thorough evaluation to develop a treatment plan to best improve your speech. Their expert collaboration with surgeons and dentists/prosthedontists, allows for the best possible rehabilitative outcomes.
The larynx (voice box) is a very important structure in the head & neck region, particularly for allowing us to make a voice. Cancer treatment in this region (even for non-larynx cancers) can sometimes result in voice changes for a variety of reasons. The speech pathology team at the Head & Neck Cancer Center of Texas, uses state-of-the-art technology to evaluate to source of a voice problem and then develop an ideal plan for restoring the best possible voice. This rehab collaboration with surgeons offers the most advanced options in voice care. More information on our comprehensive voice care can be found here (Link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/voice.html)
When a laryngectomy is required (removal of the voice box), the rehab team at the Texas Voice Center offers the highest level of rehabilitative care available, including surgical voice restoration, which uses an implanted voice prosthesis to restore a natural sounding voice following surgical recovery. Our laryngectomy care also includes patient education before surgery as well as comprehensive rehabilitation after surgery to ensure patients can live out a healthy and full life. More information regarding laryngectomy care can be found here (Link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/laryngectomy.html)
Radiation is often a component of head & neck cancer treatment and can have both immediate as well as delayed side effects. The speech pathology team works closely with radiation patients to ensure their best possible outcomes both during radiation and for years to come. By following a radiation wellness program, our radiation patients are able to better manage side effects and feel better throughout treatment. Following completion of radiation, rehabilitation begins as quicly as possible to ensure the best outcomes. More information on radiation care can be found here. (link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/radiation.html)
Some head & neck cancer patients require a tracheostomy (breathing tube) during their care to ensure they are able to breath well. The speech pathology team is highly skilled in advanced tracheostomy practices to help ensure you are able to eat, breath and talk as well as possible during this time. More information on tracheostomy care can be found here (link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/tracheostomy.html)
Feeding Tube Expertise
While we make every effort to ensure patients can eat well by mouth, sometimes a feeding tube may help ensure the best possible outcomes during cancer treatment. The speech pathology staff is very knowledgeable on the care and use of feeding tubes and can assist patients in the transition to using a feeding tube. More information on feeding tubes can be found here (link: http://www.practicalslpinfo.com/feeding-tubes.html)