Head and Neck Cancer Research

Improving care for people with head and neck swelling after cancer treatment

A PA Research Foundation funded research project led by Research Fellow Amanda Pigott is looking to investigate the development of swelling of the head and neck areas after treatment for head and neck cancer.

Head and neck swelling is highly visible, can be uncomfortable and may cause difficulty with things like swallowing, breathing and speaking. There is limited research available to help understand this condition or to guide its treatment.

In the first part of this study, the researchers are seeking to investigate who gets swelling during radiotherapy treatment and whether it resolves during the recovery phase. Internal and external swelling will be examined.

The second part of the study will offer treatment to people who continue to have problematic swelling (lymphoedema) in their recovery phase. This part of the study will compare two treatment types, massage and compression, and to see what is the most helpful.

This research will provide valuable information about how swelling changes during cancer treatment both inside and outside the body. This will assist in our understanding of when doctors should provide treatment for swelling and which people will most benefit.

The treatment currently provided for head and neck swelling has not been well researched. Patients report it is beneficial, but it is very time consuming for both patient and therapist.

This study will work towards identifying which components of therapy are most effective for head and neck swelling management to improve outcomes for patients, reduce the burden on future patients’ time and ensure the health care system resources are used effectively.

Lucky Duck Lottery raises funds to support research projects for Head and Neck Cancer at the PA Hospital Campus. Buy a ticket in the Lucky Duck Lottery to support this research.

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