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Palliative radiation therapy for the head/neck region

General

Patients with advanced cancer and short expected survival time may benefit from both symptom-relief and prevention by radiation therapy. In some cases, radiation treatment may also extend survival. 

Normal tissue has a greater ability to repair itself between fractionations compared to tumor tissue. Radiation therapy is therefore given with one or few fractions with good effect and little side effects. In this way, a high total dose is given to the tumor tissue but injury to healthy tissue is still limited. 

It is very important that acute side effects are minor and of short duration.

Palliative radiation therapy is used both for primary tumors, local recurrence, and metastases.

Indications

  • Incurable cancer in the head/neck region.
  • Clear association between metastasis(es) and symptom(s). 

Goal 

  • Relieve symptoms
  • Prevent symptoms

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