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Late Stage Oropharynx Cancer, Treatment and Side Effects by Dr. Geoffrey Geiger

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Weekly list of side-effects from radiotherapy treatmentDr. Geoffrey Geiger, University of Pennsylvania, outlines the course of radiotherapy treatment and side effects for head and neck cancer.

 

Late Stage Oropharynx Cancer, Treatment and Side Effects Audio Podcast

 

What you will hear in part 3

  • Medications
  • Side effects; and 
  • Side effect management

 

Glossary of terms you will hear in part 3

For other cancer-related definitions, visit the National Cancer Institute’s online glossary at cancer.gov/dictionary.

  • Chemotherapy – Treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells.
  • Lymph node – A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
  • Lymphatic fluid – The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymph.
  • Radiation therapy/Radiotherapy – The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.

 


Late Stage Oropharynx Cancer, Planning for External Beam Radiotherapy by Dr. Geoffrey Geiger

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Graphic showing radiotherapy targeting planDr. Geoffrey Geiger, University of Pennsylvania, discusses the process of planning radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

 

Late Stage Oropharynx Cancer, Planning for External Beam Radiotherapy Audio Podcast

 

What you will hear in part 2

  • What to expect during radiation treatment

 

Glossary of terms you will hear in part 2

For other cancer-related definitions, visit the National Cancer Institute’s online glossary at cancer.gov/dictionary.

  • Chemotherapy – Treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells.
  • CT scan – A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A CT scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called CAT scan, computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, and computerized tomography.
  • External beam radiotherapy – Radiation that comes from a machine outside the body
  • MRI – A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. MRI makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) or x-ray. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones. Also called magnetic resonance imaging, NMRI, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging
  • Oropharynx/Oropharyngeal cancer – Cancer that forms in tissues of the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils). Most oropharyngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the oropharynx).
  • Parotid gland – The largest of the salivary glands, which make saliva and release it into the mouth. There are 2 parotid glands, one in front of and just below each ear.
  • PET scan – A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is taken up. Because cancer cells often take up more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called positron emission tomography scan.
  • Radiation therapy/Radiotherapy – The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – Cancer of the head and neck that begins in squamous cells (thin, flat cells that form the surface of the skin, eyes, various internal organs, and the lining of hollow organs and ducts of some glands). Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck includes cancers of the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, and larynx (voice box). Most head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

 


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