Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer May Cause Problems Years Later
MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 -- Ten years after radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, some patients may develop problems speaking and swallowing, a new study finds.
These problems are related to radiation damage to the cranial nerves, the researchers explained. The condition is called radiation-induced cranial neuropathy.
"We had always thought that radiation did not damage cranial nerves because they get treated in every patient with head and neck cancer, and we do not see cranial neuropathy that commonly," said Dr. Thomas Galloway, of the department of radiation oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
"What our data is suggesting is that a small percentage of people do get cranial nerve damage from treatment, but it occurs after a long latency period," Galloway said.
For the study, the researchers collected data on 1,100 patients who had radiation for head and neck cancer between 1990 and 2005. Among these patients, 112 were followed for at least 10 years.
Of the 112 patients, 14% developed at least one cranial neuropathy. The median time until the condition was seen was more than seven years. It took some patients more than 10 years to develop the problem, the findings showed.
Curing the initial cancer is the most important concern, Galloway said. But these patients need to be followed for the rest of their lives, if possible, he added.
The report was published recently in the journal Oral Oncology.
© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: September 2019
Read this next
MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2020 -- Research following patients for nearly three decades finds that surgery plus radiation beats surgery alone for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)...
TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2020 -- People with cancer are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Now, a preliminary study suggests that certain cancer therapies may heighten those odds...
THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2020 -- Cancer patients who need radiation therapy shouldn't let fear of COVID-19 delay their treatment, one hospital study suggests. Over six days in May,...
More News Resources
- FDA Medwatch Drug Alerts
- Daily MedNews
- News for Health Professionals
- New Drug Approvals
- New Drug Applications
- Drug Shortages
- Clinical Trial Results
- Generic Drug Approvals
- Monthly Update Archive
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.