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Indian J Palliat Care. 2012 May;18(2):87-97. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.100820.

A comprehensive review of head and neck cancer rehabilitation: physical therapy perspectives.

Author information

  • 1Srinivas College of Physiotherapy and Research Center, Mangalore, India.

Abstract

Rehabilitation in relation to cancer can be preventative, restorative, supportive, and palliative. It is recognized that patients may have rehabilitation needs throughout their care pathway. The role of physiotherapy in the cancer rehabilitation is less understood and particularly in the head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. This results in various residual deformities and dysfunctions for the patients with HNC. The objective of this review is to provide detailed information regarding the problems faced after the cancer treatments and rehabilitation of patients who suffered with HNC. The fact that cancer patients are facing several months of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and usually major surgery, as well as the direct effect of immobility due to pain, means that muscle wasting, joint stiffness, as well as de-conditioning and fatigue are inevitable. The absence of physiotherapy intervention would be detrimental to patient care and the ability of the patient/family to cope with the effects of the disease or its treatment on their functional capacity and quality of life. Following any treatment for HNC, physical therapy may play an essential role in preventing various complications and helping patients to mitigate impairments, and restoring function of the shoulder joint, neck, and face.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer rehabilitation; Head and neck cancer; Palliative care; Physical therapy

PMID:
23093823
PMCID:
PMC3477371
DOI:
10.4103/0973-1075.100820
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