Purpose Patients who receive (chemo)radiotherapy [(C)RT] for head and neck cancer (HNC) experience multiple treatment effects. However, the presence and recovery of treatment toxicities and how these impact on oral intake over time post-treatment are not fully understood. The primary aim of this study was to examine patient perceptions of the toxicities present and which are barriers to oral intake, up to 3 years post (C)RT. The secondary aim was to identify mealtime strategies used to optimise oral intake. Methods A prospective cohort of 96 patients after completion of (C)RT for HNC reported the presence of toxicities, if they were barriers to oral intake, and use of any mealtime strategies at the end of treatment (EoT), and at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months post- treatment. Results All toxicities and reported barriers changed over time (p < 0.05) except trismus. Odynophagia, reduced appetite, and fatigue improved (p < 0.05) by 3 months. Significantly less patients reported xerostomia and dysgeusia as barriers to oral intake at 3 months despite no improvement in their presence. No change in the presence of any toxicity or its impact on oral intake occurred from 12 to 36 months, with exception of dentition problems
Supportive Care in Cancer – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 7, 2018
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