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Head and Neck Cancers

Head and Neck Cancers are commonly treated with radiation therapy.  The technology we use and the number of treatments depends on how advanced the tumor is (stage) and what type of symptoms you have (if any).


If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Head or Neck Cancer, click the link below to request a consultation with a Coastal Radiation Oncologist.

  • Typical Treatments

    For information about the types of technology available through Coastal Radiation Oncology 


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  • What To Expect

    Once your doctors have determined that radiation therapy may be part of the treatment plan for your Head and Neck Cancer, there will be a few steps to allow the radiation oncology team to begin treatment safely. 


    These include:


     - CT simulation
     - Treatment plan design (dosimetry)

     - Verification

     - Start of daily treatments

     - Weekly doctor visits with your radiation oncologist

  • Side Effects

    Short term:


    Side effects are usually temporary and usually go away shortly after treatment ends. Below is a list of possible side effects you might notice during your treatment.

    More likely

    • Fatigue

    • Weight loss

    • Decreased appetite

    • Skin irritation

    • Dry mouth

    • Hair loss on face or back of head

    • Loss or altered taste

    • Mouth ulcers

    • Pain with swallowing

    • Thick mucous/secretions

    • Swelling of neck


    Less likely

    • Temporary feeding tube

    • Difficulty swallowing 

    • Voice changes

    • Cough

    • Severe skin reaction

    • Shortness of breath

    • Difficulty opening mouth

    • Lung inflammation

    • Ear fullness


    Long term:


    After the short-term side effects of radiation therapy resolve, others may become noticeable months or years later.

    More likely

    • Weight loss

    • Dry mouth

    • Fatigue

    • Loss of hair on face/back of head

    • Neck swelling

    • Discoloration of skin

    • Thickening/tightness of neck

    • Difficulty swallowing 

    • Chronic taste changes


    Less likely

    • Decreased thyroid function

    • Permanent feeding tube

    • Voice changes 

    • Tooth decay

    • Difficulty opening mouth

    • Hearing loss

    • Spinal cord damage

    • Jaw damage

    • Brain tissue damage

    • Arm nerve damage

    • Second cancers

  • More Information

    For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer, please visit the following websites:

     RT Answers

    American Cancer Society


Coastal Radiation Oncology Medical Center

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