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  Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 86
 

Quality of life in head and neck cancer patients: A physiotherapist's perspective


1 Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, India
2 Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, India

Date of Web Publication18-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
S R Samuel
Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.134652

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How to cite this article:
Samuel S R, Maiya A G, Vidyasagar M S. Quality of life in head and neck cancer patients: A physiotherapist's perspective. Indian J Cancer 2014;51:86

How to cite this URL:
Samuel S R, Maiya A G, Vidyasagar M S. Quality of life in head and neck cancer patients: A physiotherapist's perspective. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Dec 3];51:86. Available from: https://www.indianjcancer.com/text.asp?2014/51/1/86/134652


Sir,

We read with great interest the guest editorial by Kazi et al., [1] in the July-September 2010 issue of your journal. The rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients is a subject of increasing importance. A physiotherapist can play an important role in the rehabilitation of a head and neck cancer patient thus improving the quality of life.

Oral mucositis a common complication of cancer treatment in head and neck cancer patients leads to difficulty in tolerating food, affects speech and self esteem thus compromising patients' response to treatment which further affects the quality of life. It is therefore very important to prevent or treat oral mucositis. From the physiotherapy perspective, a study done in our institute showed that low level helium-neon laser therapy during chemo-radiotherapy was found to be effective in preventing and treating oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients. [2]

In addition head and neck cancer patients undergoing chemo-radiotherapy also exhibit decreased functional capacity and quality of life due to the adverse effects of chemo-radiotherapy like cancer related fatigue. A recent Cochrane review concluded that a structured exercise program during chemo-radiotherapy improves the quality of life in patients undergoing chemo-radiotherapy. [3] Unpublished data from a study done in our institute shows that a structured and individualized exercise program during chemo-radiotherapy leads to improvement in the physical as well as mental component on the medical outcomes study Short Form-36 questionnaire. Exercise also improves the psychological state of the patient by infusing self confidence and a feeling of well being. Thus a structured exercise program can play an important role in improving the functional capacity and quality of life in head and neck cancer patients receiving chemo-radiotherapy. A physiotherapy program can also play an important role in improving the decreased neck range of motion often seen in post surgical cases. Thus a structured physiotherapy program during chemo-radiotherapy and post surgery can play a major role in improving the quality of life in head and neck cancer patients by preventing complications like oral mucositis, decreased neck range of motion and cancer related fatigue which leads to decreased functional capacity.

 
  References Top

1.Kazi R, Syed S, Diwedi RC. Clinical importance of quality of life measures in head and neck cancer. Indian J Cancer 2010;47:237-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Arun Maiya G, Sagar MS, Fernandes D. Effect of low level helium-neon (He-Ne) laser therapy in the prevention and treatment of radiation induced mucositis in head and neck cancer patients. Indian J Med Res 2006;124:399-402.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Cramp F, Daniel J. Exercise for the management of cancer related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;2:CD006145.  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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