Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19--23

Palliative radiotherapy in locally advanced head and neck cancer-A prospective trial

Department of Radiotherapy, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushmita Ghoshal
Department of Radiotherapy, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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AIM: To evaluate the role of palliative radiotherapy for symptom control in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 25 patients with stage 3 and stage 4 head and neck cancer were treated with a short course of palliative radiotherapy (30 Gray (Gy) in 10 fractions over 2 weeks). Baseline symptoms were assessed using a 11 point numerical scale for pain, dysphagia, cough, insomnia and dyspnoea. The primary end point was relief of symptoms in the fourth week after radiotherapy. Percentage symptom relief was quantified by the patient using a rupee scale. RESULTS: All 22 patients with pain and 90% of patients with dysphagia, dyspnoea and disturbed sleep had greater than 50% relief in symptoms after radiotherapy. Cough was relieved in sixty percent of cases. CONCLUSION: A short course of radiation can be an effective method of symptom palliation in head and neck cancers.


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Online since 1st October '05
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