The Impact of Lymphedema in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>MD Anderson</b>

Jan S. Lewin, PhD, professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the impact of lymphedema in patients with head and neck cancer.

Jan S. Lewin, PhD, professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the impact of lymphedema in patients with head and neck cancer.

Head and neck lymphedema is a common side effect that stems from treatment for the disease or the tumor, Lewin explains. Despite its prevalence, it often goes undiagnosed and is poorly managed, she adds. This affects patients' speech, breathing, swallowing, sight, and more.

Most clinicians believe the swelling will disappear over time; however, depending on the condition type, it can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks with proper treatment, Lewin says.