Treatment is about to start and it feels daunting. Try to ask as many questions as you want and need. It's important to feel prepared so don't feel bad about asking and asking. Remember that Head and Neck cancer treatment understanding and approaches have advanced significantly over the last few decades and even over the last 5 years. There are much better outcomes today than there were previously and these cancers can have positive outcomes. Try to stay as positive as you can.

Given the complexity of the range of head and neck cancers, treatments are varied and can be complex. Major treatments for head and neck cancer may include one or more of the following: surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, chemoradiation therapy, targeted therapies and immunotherapy.

Exercise and rest are crucial for your treatment and recovery to be successful. Your body is going to take a significant amount of punishment from the treatment so be prepared to have daytime sleeps and rest. Regular exercise when you feel most perky in the day is good for your mental and physical health even if it is simply walking around the block once a day.

Convalescence is an old fashioned word but it’s true we all lead such busy life’s ticking boxes and getting on with living. But remember head and neck cancer treatment is brutal and your body needs time to recuperate.

The links below may be useful to read.

Remember we don’t get all the side effects either during treatment or after treatment but it’s useful to have an idea of what may happen.

General Information

A quick overview of what to expect

Radiotherapy/Chemotherapy

A quick overview of what to expect

Surgery

A quick overview of what to expect

This is an article written by a retired consultant from Leeds on what happens when treatment finishes is very good.

After the Treatment Finishes - Then What? By Dr Peter Harvey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

 

This may be useful as well.

Cookbook by Andrew Gaylor (Head and Neck Cancer Survivor 2022)

This summary from one of our Ambassadors describes her treatment experience.

https://oraclehnc.org.uk/head-and-neck-cancers-matter-by-hazel