Symptom palliation of diseases of the head and neck (including dentistry)
This chapter discusses surgical palliation of the major symptoms, focusing on the surgical aspects of palliation and reflecting on the author's own clinical experience in managing incurable disease. It provides the natural history of head and neck cancer, and the effect of treatment on morbidity and the health-related quality of life. The chapter also determines whether surgical rehabilitation is appropriate for patients following tumour ablation. Symptom control, surgical palliative procedures, nutritional support, and loco-regional control are discussed as well. The dental considerations in general palliative care are provided in the latter part of the chapter. The chapter determines that palliative surgery for patients who have head and neck cancer is challenging. It also shows that radial surgery may lead to poor quality of life and function, and that the chances of survival remain unclear.
Keywords: surgical palliation, palliation, incurable disease, neck cancer, surgical rehabilitation, tumour ablation, symptom control, surgical palliative procedures, nutritional support, general palliative care
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