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Dent Clin North Am. 2008 Jan;52(1):39-60, viii.

Management of patients who have undergone head and neck cancer therapy.

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  • 1Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, 801 South Paulina Street, MC 838, Chicago, IL 60612-7213, USA.


Patients who undergo treatment for head and neck cancers often suffer from acute or late reactions to therapy. Severity of these oral complications may be based on the location and extent of tumor, as well as the type and extent of treatment. Some complications are transient, whereas others require a lifetime of management secondary to damage that results in permanent dysfunction. Patients who have a history of head and neck cancers are also at an increased risk for recurrences or second malignancies, and therefore require close follow-up. Dental professionals should provide preventive and supportive care, including education and symptom management, for patients experiencing oral complications related to cancer therapy, and should closely monitor patients' level of distress, ability to cope, and treatment response.

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