A Summary Article By Barbara Pauloski, Rehabilitation Of Dysphagia Following Head And Neck Cancer

A Summary Article By Barbara Pauloski, Rehabilitation Of Dysphagia Following Head And Neck Cancer

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Today, head and neck cancer in the United States is about 3% of all cancers. This type of cancer is the most common in individuals over the age of 50 and has a greater risk in men compared to women. There are many risk factors that can increase your risk of getting head and neck cancer, such as alcohol and tobacco use, two of the most common (“National Cancer Institute”, 2013). Following treatment of head and neck cancer, many side effects occur, such as dysphagia, depending on the type of treatment that is chosen. In this journal article review, it will provide a brief summary of the article by Barbara Pauloski, “Rehabilitation of Dysphagia Following Head and Neck Cancer,” the key concepts expressed in the article, and my thoughts on what the article taught me by applying this to my field of interest, radiation therapy.
Head and Neck cancer is a general term that is commonly used and can be broken down into specific cancers of the pharynx, larynx, or oral cavity. These types of cancers can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or any combination of the three. A common side effect that occurs succeeding cancer treatment is known as dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. The type and severity of dysphagia depend on the tumor size, location, other structures involved, and the type of treatment. The most severe cases of dysphagia were recognized in patients who received chemotherapy and radiotherapy. To diagnose dysphagia in patients, a Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) is conducted to help determine strategies to reduce aspiration as well as ways to improve swallowing function. These specific strategies include ideas such as postures, maneuvers, and other modifications (Pauloski, 2008).
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...e, such as their inability to consume adequate nutrition because of the inability to swallow effectively. Being in the clinic, this assignment has allowed me to apply the information in the article to what I observed in clinic and applies to my field of interest, radiation therapy. It provides a better understanding of how each treatment can affect a patient’s swallowing capabilities, and our role in determining the onset of dysphagia signs and symptoms. As a student, it helps me understand how important it is we continue to watch the progress of our patients, especially those of head and neck cancer, to provide the best care and improve their quality of life to the best of our abilities, which fits the University of Iowa Hospital’s and Clinics vision for Iowans and the world, “Making a difference in the quality of life and health for generations (About Us, 2015).

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