The value of a nutritional therapist during the course of radiation therapy to patients with head and neck cancer
Strauss, Jerry Mark
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Patients at University Hospital and Boston City Hospital that were being treated by radiation therapy for head and neck cancer were examined in a retrospective study. The patients were divided into two groups dependent upon whether or not they received nutritional counseling by a therapist during their course of radiotherapy. The groups were pair-matched for age, sex, race, tumor stage, pathology, tumor location and history of alcohol abuse; statistical analysis was performed by use of the t-test. Although the values statistically did not show significant differences, the patients that received no nutritional counseling did exhibit more than twice the weight loss during the course of treatment than the experimental group. Explanation of the results were enumerated, including a discussion of the major concern, that of the fact that most of the patients surveyed presented with years of alcohol abuse. Examination of such patients is a difficult proposition since many of them present, even prior to treatment, as malnourished and may be difficult to work with despite the efforts of a nutritional counselor. Additionally, the sequelae of radiation therapy (i.e.xerostomia, mucositis, dysphagia, infection, osteoradionecrosis, etc.) creates, at best, a compromise situation in terms of nutritional maintenance for patients with head and neck cancer. As presented here, treatment of these patients must be delivered in a team approach with input coming from physician, dentist and nutritional therapist, each of whom can provide vital and necessary services required during the course of treatment to allow for nutritional maintenance.
PLEASE NOTE: This work is protected by copyright. Downloading is restricted to the BU community: please click Download and log in with a valid BU account to access. If you are the author of this work and would like to make it publicly available, please contact email@example.com.Thesis (M.Sc.D.)--Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry (Nutritional Sciences), 1980.Bibliography: leaves 28-31.
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