Article

Interventions for the treatment of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer: radiotherapy

Cochrane Oral Health Group, School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester, Coupland III Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9PL.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 12/2010; 8(12):CD006387. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006387.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Oral cavity (mouth) cancer is usually detected earlier and treated with surgery and radiotherapy. Oropharyngeal (throat) cancer may be at an advanced stage when it is found and is treated with radiotherapy. Both surgery and radiotherapy may be associated with disfigurement and decreased ability to eat, drink and talk. Recent advances show that by altering how the radiotherapy is given to patients, improvements in overall survival can be achieved. The new methods of giving radiotherapy are called accelerated fractionation or hyperfractionation. However, they may be associated with an increase in side effects.

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    • "Radiotherapy is one of the main pillars of cancer treatment together with surgery and systemic therapy, mainly chemotherapy. Examples for curative radiotherapy without surgery are prostate (Eckert et al., 2013; Kotecha et al., 2013) and head and neck cancer (Glenny et al., 2010). Preoperative radiotherapy is applied in rectal cancer (Sauer et al., 2012), postoperative treatment in breast cancer (Darby et al.). "
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    ABSTRACT: Oral cavity (mouth) cancer is usually detected earlier and treated with surgery and radiotherapy. Oropharyngeal (throat) cancer may be advanced when it is found and is treated with radiotherapy. Both treatments may be associated with disfigurement and decreased ability to eat, drink and talk. Treatment with chemotherapy (drugs which kill cancer cells), in addition to radiotherapy (and surgery where possible) offers prolonged survival. Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiotherapy, is more effective than chemotherapy given before radiotherapy, and may reduce the need for surgery. The improvement in overall survival with the use of chemotherapy is estimated to be between 8% and 22%. The additional side effects of combined chemoradiotherapy (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hair loss, and infections) were not measured.
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