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Head and Neck Cancer: Basics for the Speech Pathologist

presented by Barbara Pisano Messing, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, FASHA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Barbara Pisano Messing receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Barbara Pisano Messing has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 65 Minutes; Learning Assessment Runtime: 47 Minutes

This course gives an overview of head and neck cancer (HNC) from diagnosis to treatment. Specific diagnostic workup and implications for treatment are discussed. Participants will learn to identify potential issues during the diagnostic workup for cancer staging and treatment decision-making. A brief overview of HNC risk factors, initial diagnostic processes (i.e., staging, etc.), indications for surgical and nonsurgical treatment, and effects of treatment on functional outcomes will be discussed. This course is appropriate for speech pathologists, oncology nurses, physical and occupational therapists, otolaryngologists, and medical residents working in any setting but particularly those in graduate training programs, acute care hospitals, cancer centers, and rehabilitation programs/centers.

Meet Your Instructor

Barbara Pisano Messing, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, FASHA

Barbara Pisano Messing is a practicing speech pathologist with 36 years of clinical and administrative experience. Dr. Messing was the administrative-clinical director of the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center, Head and Neck Surgery, and Johns Hopkins Voice Center at GBMC in Baltimore, Maryland, for 22 years. She is recognized as a clinical…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Incidence, Risk Factors, Signs, and Symptoms Associated With Head and Neck Cancer (HNC)

Oncology health care professionals need to recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with head and neck cancer that might be seen in various population groups. This chapter covers the anatomical regions of head and neck cancer and associated risk factors.

2. Head and Neck Cancer: Imaging, Pathology, and Staging

Obtaining a diagnosis of head and neck cancer sets off a whirlwind of life-altering events for the head and neck cancer patient. The initial diagnostic workup process includes but is not limited to biopsy, imaging with consideration of comorbidities, age, previous cancer history, and other factors. Cancer staging is based on the type, location, size, and extension of cancer. Clinical signs and symptoms, along with biopsy and imaging results, are gathered by the team to stage cancer and guide treatment decisions. This chapter briefly reviews the diagnostic workup and clinical and pathological staging process in the head and neck cancer patient.

3. From Diagnosis to Treatment Initiation in Head and Neck Cancer

Time is crucial for optimal patient survival when dealing with head and neck cancer. The multidisciplinary team assists patients and their caregivers as they navigate through the complex treatment planning process and consider treatment options. Timely and efficient diagnostic workup and treatment planning in head and neck cancer are essential for appropriate management. Once the clinical and/or pathological stage is known, treatment options are discussed by the multidisciplinary team based on NCCN treatment guidelines. Anticipated treatment effects are considered for each patient, along with optimal survival outcomes.

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