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Revista CEFAC

Print version ISSN 1516-1846


CAMPOS, Renata Jacob Daniel Salomão de  and  LEITE, Isabel Cristina Gonçalves. Quality of life and voice after radiotherapy: speech therapy repercussions. Rev. CEFAC [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.4, pp.671-677.  Epub May 07, 2010. ISSN 1516-1846.

BACKGROUND: radiotherapy for head and neck cancer has been important for disease control, both as neo-adjuvant and concomitant to chemotherapy. 5-year survival rates after larynx cancer have increased, justifying the efforts towards rehabilitation of patients` communication and highlighting the importance of the speech-language pathologist in the radiotherapy team. New scientific and therapeutic breakthroughs have turned organ preservation into a strong ally in head and neck cancer treatment. PURPOSE: to show the speech-language-related sequelae, such as changes in vocal and life quality, related to treatment for head and neck tumors, especially those arising after radiotherapy. CONCLUSION: many acute and chronic sequelae, such as hoarseness, odinophagy and aphony, involving difficulties in oral communication and/or swallowing in patients after neck and head radiotherapy treatment, interfering with communication, swallowing, and life quality of patients in a direct manner. The professionals involved with the treatment of this cancer, with the speech-language pathologist among them, through the knowledge on the treatment and its therapeutic weaknesses that jeopardize the vocal quality and life quality of those patients, seek to contribute in the recovery process in order to minimize damages caused by the disease and improving the individual's health condition.

Keywords : Radiotherapy; Epidemiology; Voice; Head and Neck Neoplasms; Quality of life.

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