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Prosem Lecture: Impacts of Radiation on Swallow Function in the Head and Neck Cancer Population
January 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Nicole Schaen-Heacock, MS, 1st Year PhD Student, Research Assistant, Ciucci Lab, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Topic: Impacts of Radiation on Swallow Function in the Head and Neck Cancer Population
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the 6th most common cancer worldwide. Common curative treatments (i.e. radiation) can lead to dysphagia (impaired swallow function) in this patient population. Patients can experience dysphagia both during treatment (Radiation Associated Dysphagia – RAD) and post-treatment (Late Radiation Associated Dysphagia – LRAD). Currently, there are gaps in knowledge related to the specific impacts of radiation treatment on swallowing biomechanics. The interaction between radiation treatment and pharyngeal swallowing pressures was examined retrospectively in a group of 21 survivors of HNC who either experienced RAD or LRAD. Translation of these findings to current work in the established rat model will also be discussed.