Swallowing and speech difficulties can be a consequence of head and neck cancer surgery and radiotherapy. Some of the symptoms that result from treatment to the head and neck area can be:
- Food that gets stuck in the throat.
- Difficulty with the swallowing reflex.
- Trouble moving food from the mouth to the throat.
- Food getting stuck in the cheeks due to dry mouth (pocketing).
- Coughing, choking or gagging when swallowing.
Rehabilitation involves speech language therapy that helps patients more clearly express their thoughts, ideas and feelings. It also involves the practice of intelligent speech so that others can understand what you are trying to say; improving swallowing function with safety; developing practical social skills, greater self-esteem and independence.