Lymphedema management in head and neck cancer

Skip to first unread message


May 31, 2010, 9:49:15 AM5/31/10
to All About Lymphedema
Lymphedema management in head and neck cancer

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Ju

Smith BG, Lewin JS.

Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Section of Speech-Language
Pathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Head and neck lymphedema (HNL) is a common and often debilitating
cancer treatment effect that is under-researched and ill defined. We
examined current literature and reviewed historical treatment
approaches. We propose a model for evaluation and treatment of HNL
used at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC)
for patients with head and neck cancer (HNC).


Despite the morbidity associated with HNL in patients with HNC, to our
knowledge, no article has been published within the past 18 months
whose primary focus is HNL. Eight publications included HNL but only
as a secondary focus related to treatment effect, risk of dysphagia,
prognostic indicator of underlying disease, and quality of life. A
potential benefit of selenium treatment to reduce HNL was reported.


This article highlights the recent literature regarding HNL in
patients treated for HNC. Although HNL is reported as a potential
complication of HNC treatment, no clear definition of the disease or
its management are published. Our early experience using an objective
evaluation and treatment protocol holds promise for a better
understanding of HNL in patients treated for head and neck malignancy.

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery:
June 2010 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 153–158
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283393799
Speech therapy and rehabilitation: Edited by Bernice K. Klaben
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages