Head and Neck Cancer Care

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Cancer can be defined in simple terms as division of cells beyond control. These cells come together to form tumor. Now, tumors are of two types- malignant tumors and benign tumors. Benign tumors do not harm the body and are considered to be safe whereas malignant tumors are considered to be cancerous. Head and neck cancer care involves palliative care.

Now, let us see which of the cancers come under the category of head and neck cancer. Larynx or the voice-box cancer, pharynx cancer, oral cancer, lymph nodes present in the upper part of the neck, salivary glands cancer, nasal cavity cancer and paranasal cavity cancer are all classified under the category of head and neck cancer. However, one must note that brain cancer, scalp cancer, eye cancer, thyroid cancer and the bones in the facial region are not classified under the category of head and neck cancer.

There are basically four stages of neck and head cancer- first stage, second stage, third and the last is the fourth stage. Cancer in the first i.e. initial stage can be cured easily with less complex treatments. Cancer can also be cured in the second and third stages with combinations of primary treatments like radiation therapy, chemotherapy and head and neck surgery. But, cancer in the fourth stage is quite difficult to treat. Hence, when the symptoms arise it is better to consult your doctor as early as possible to avoid further growth of tumor and metastasis.

Head and neck cancer care:

Emotional and psychological support:

Many cancer care agencies provide home care so that patients do not feel nostalgic. Closed ones can offer emotional support of head and neck cancer. It can be of bigger help as the patients start living their life afresh and have a positive outlook towards life.

Palliative care:

Palliative care is the care given to the patients suffering from a life threatening, dangerous disease such as cancer. Their main aim is to treat the cancer and its symptoms along with enriching their psychological and social condition. They also offer spiritual, supportive and comfort care. But, they don't cure the disease. When the patient is in the very last stage of cancer and no treatment is warranted, then the treatment is not given else they do provide treatment if it is effective and results are generally successful. The main emphasis is on cancer care. There are many palliative care centers set up in the city. You can check them. Most of the palliative care centers accept patients with all types of cancer and provide good head and neck cancer care.

Nutrition for head and neck cancer care:

Nutritional diet is very essential during any cancer care. Many of the procedures carried out to treat head and neck cancer has various side-effects. In most of the surgeries, there is tremendous amount of loss of blood. To refill all the lost vitamins and nutrients, healthy diet is essential.

Drinking enough water and fluids is a must. Since surgeries involve loss of blood, foods rich in iron, such as green vegetables like spinach, salad leaves, broccoli, etc. must be consumed so as to replenish loss of iron. Iron one of the main constituent of blood. Hemoglobin in the blood imparts red color to the blood. Consuming sufficient quantities of macro nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats and micro nutrients like vitamins and minerals will help you in recovering in a healthy way.

Post-cancer treatment care:

Once you are send home after your treatment, it is essential that you regularly go for a check-up. As cancer can be recurrent, it is better not to take a chance. Take appointments and have routine check-ups on a regular basis. Post cancer head and neck cancer care is indispensable in preventing cancer recurrence (recurrence of head and neck cancer).

Having a healthy outlook towards life and living life enthusiastically is one of the ways to enrich life.

Take care!

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