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Nutritional status and radiation therapy

General

Many head/neck patients are at risk for developing malnutrition, which is associated with increased morbidity and illness. Malnutrition is more difficult to treat than to prevent.

Monitoring nutritional status is an important part of treatment. The goal is to identify malnutrition as early as possible in order to initiate measures quickly. 

Radiation therapy is often intensive and causes side effects such as dry mouth, pain, mucositis, and taste disturbance. 

Indication

  • Radiation therapy to the head/neck region.

Goal

  • Maintain nutritional status in the period of acute side effects caused by radiation therapy.

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