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Dental management of a patient with head and neck cancer: a case report

Abstract

Head and neck cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK. Management may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination of these. A multidisciplinary approach is required, with the dental team forming an integral part of the patient pathway. Prior to commencement of cancer therapy, patients should have a dental assessment and urgent treatment should be provided as necessary. This article presents the case of a 49-year-old male with previous T4N0M0 squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy had been provided four years prior to presentation. The patient had significant post-operative complications of cancer therapy which were significantly affecting his quality of life. The patient underwent dental treatment, including preventive care, periodontal therapy and restorative care, with the multidisciplinary dental team. This case illustrates that oral assessment and urgent dental treatment should start prior to cancer treatment. Post-operative regular dental follow-ups should be instigated for monitoring and maintenance.

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Correspondence to Hana Cho.

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Cho, H., Kumar, N. Dental management of a patient with head and neck cancer: a case report. Br Dent J 227, 25–29 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-019-0464-7

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