Effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on the swallowing of patients with head and neck cancer.
Keywords:Aspiration, Dysphagia, Radiotherapy, Sydney Swallow Questionnaire
Objective: To determine the effect of Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy on the swallowing of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Study Design: Cross Sectional study. Setting: Jinnah Hospital Lahore. Period: August 2020 to April 2021. Material & Methods: It was performed on forty-nine adults of age range 19-58 years in having head and neck cancer and Glasgow coma scale score above 10. and purposive sampling technique was used. Patients who have received 50-70 Gy dosage and have completed at least 10 fractions of radiation therapy treatment or received 500-1000 Mg dosage and have completed at least 2 cycles of oral chemotherapy treatment were included. Sydney Swallow Questionnaire consisting of 17 questions, each with a 100mm long visual analogue scale for marking response except question 12, was filled by all participants and their responses were recorded. After 2 months of initial recordings same patients were asked to fill the same questionnaire. During therapy and post therapy results were recorded and paired sample T test was done on the data by using SPSS. Results: The results of SSQ shows 10.20% had scores depicting no swallowing difficulty. 40.82% scored 235-500 on SSQ scale showing mild symptoms of dysphagia, 30.61% show moderate swallowing impairment, 16.33% had moderately severe and 2.04% claimed severe dysphagia before the chemo and radio therapy. It represented that after chemo-radiation treatment, 4.06% had normal swallowing, 12.24% had mild issues, 24.49% had moderate, 32.65% patients claimed moderately severe dysphagia and 26.53% have severe dysphagia. Conclusion: Severity of swallowing difficulty was increased after the Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy.
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