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Late-onset complications after chemoradiation for head and neck carcinomas

| Reprints
August 22, 2013
by Marc I. Surkin, MD, FACS; Sandra A. Schwartz, MS, CCC-SLP; and Deborah A. Markiewicz, MD


Acute complications from chemoradiation for head and neck cancers are relatively common. These can be minor or severe and can have a significant impact on the patient's quality of life. The incidence of late-onset (>5 years after cancer cure) complications is unknown, but the effect on quality of life is just as severe as with acute problems. What makes matters worse is that many of these patients lived years without dysphagia or other issues and were able to resume a normal lifestyle before developing complications. We present 4 cases involving patients with late-onset complications and discuss the need to remain vigilant in follow-up and caring for patients with head and neck cancer.

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