While head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors are not as frequently encountered by rehabilitation physicians as patients afflicted by other more common cancers, this group deserves special attention. HNC survivors often manifest severe, progressive, and function-limiting late effects of treatment, particularly radiation, including cervical dystonia, trismus, shoulder dysfunction, cranial mononeuropathies, dysphagia, dysarthria, lymphedema, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and cognitive dysfunction among others. This course will discuss contemporary and historical principles and practice of treating head and neck patients including the role of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Understanding the treatment of HNC will serve as a platform for the attending physiatrist to begin to understand the multitude of impairments and disorders encountered in this group and how to optimize the patien's function and quality of life.
- Understand the principles and practice of historical and contemporary treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC)
- Identify the multiple neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, pain and functional disorders likely to be encountered in HNC survivors.
- Anticipate, identify, and ensure care coordination of the multiple medical and psychosocial issues likely to develop in HNC cancer patients.