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Dysphagia. 2008 Jun;23(2):183-92. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Quality of life related to swallowing after tongue cancer treatment.

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Voice, Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation Department, Hospital do Câncer A. C. Camargo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The surgical treatment of tongue cancer, with or without reconstruction and/or radiotherapy, leads to different levels of voice, speech, and deglutition disorders. Evaluating the quality of life related to these swallowing alterations is important to further our knowledge about the impact of such alterations from the patient's point of view. Our objective was to describe the quality of life related to swallowing in patients treated for tongue cancer, using specific questionnaires. Twenty-nine patients participated in the study for a minimum of one year after oncologic treatment. Patients with advanced disease who underwent radiotherapy had significantly worse scores in most domains. The aspects related to how to deal with deglutition problems, time taken for meal consumption, pleasure in eating, chewing problems, food sticking in throat and mouth, choking, and the knowledge of feeding restrictions, which were evaluated by different domains of SWAL-QOL, were factors that contributed to a negative impact for patients with advanced-stage tumors who underwent radiotherapy.

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