Radiotherapy: cancer of the oesophagus, nose
Radiation for head and neck cancer
Radiotherapy is an important component in many therapy concepts for tumours in the oral cavity, in the nose-throat and larynx area. It is used particularly in cases where an organ-conserving therapy is required. Particularly in the case of ENT tumours, alongside tumour control and the chances of healing, the quality of life also has to be taken into consideration in planning the treatment.
Important: have any defective teeth treated by an experienced dentist before the radiotherapy.
As an alternative to a radical operation, radiotherapy can be combined with chemotherapy (radiochemotherapy). In the case of head-throat tumours, under certain conditions radiation is carried out twice daily (hyperfractioning). In order to improve the chances of healing, radiotherapy may also be carried out before or after an operation.
Important: do not smoke!!!
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is used in many cases for ENT tumours. The patient receives a customized radiation mask to prevent the radiation field from slipping due to involuntary motions. Radiation is carried out using a very complex technique in which numerous field segments are irradiated in a precisely targeted and dosed manner.
Possible side effects:
The therapy may lead to acute side effects and late reactions such as inflammation of the mucous membranes or dry mouth. Your doctor will inform you in detail about the risks before the radiotherapy begins. In order to keep side effects to an absolute minimum, you also receive advice, among other things, on diet.
Important recommendations during radiotherapy for head-throat tumours:
- In the case of radiotherapy in the head region we advise against driving yourself immediately after the therapy.
- Make sure you have a balanced diet and plenty of fluid.
- Mild, lukewarm foods are suitable as well as uncarbonated mineral water.
- Strictly observe the "oral care program".
- Shower lukewarm with a mild washing lotion. The skin must not be irritated!
Not allowed: nicotine, spirits, hot, spicy foods, wet shaving, swimming, sauna, full bath.