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20-04-2016 | Head and neck cancers | Article

Pathophysiology of Radiation-Induced Dysphagia in Head and Neck Cancer


Authors: Suzanne N. King, Neal E. Dunlap, Paul A. Tennant, Teresa Pitts

Publisher: Springer US


Oncologic treatments, such as curative radiotherapy and chemoradiation, for head and neck cancer can cause long-term swallowing impairments (dysphagia) that negatively impact quality of life. Radiation-induced dysphagia comprised a broad spectrum of structural, mechanical, and neurologic deficits. An understanding of the biomolecular effects of radiation on the time course of wound healing and underlying morphological tissue responses that precede radiation damage will improve options available for dysphagia treatment. The goal of this review is to discuss the pathophysiology of radiation-induced injury and elucidate areas that need further exploration.

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