Studies show the number of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer is on the rise. Health experts are working closely with patients who are diagnosed to make sure they understand their treatment plan.
Stacey Brill, a speech pathologist with Lee Health, says patients are often overwhelmed. “It’s a lot of information to absorb, a lot of different doctor’s visits, especially for head and neck cancer patients. My job is to educate you on potential swallowing deficits that are going to happen along the way of your diagnosis and treatment, provide you with education and home exercise program to maintain your swallowing function and follow you throughout the course of your treatment.”
Brill is part of a new head and neck cancer clinic that helps patients and their families through treatment. The clinic also provides a dietitian and works closely with the patient’s doctors. “Not only do they have to see a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, ear nose and throat doctor, but they also have to see an oral surgeon and get teeth extracted, they have to get a feeding tube placed so they have to see a GI doctor,” said Brill.
The clinic helps patients understand their appointments and procedures, and guides them throughout each phase of their treatment. “Head and neck cancer is on the rise due to the HPV virus so that’s the human papilloma virus, it can be sexually transmitted,” said Brill. A diagnosis that’s increasing the need for the head and neck cancer clinic.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.