Arising in cosmetically and functionally critical areas, head and neck cancer and its treatments commonly cause life-altering changes in appearance, swallowing, and speaking. These changes affect body function and quality of life. Body image disturbance, a displeasing change in appearance or function noted by the patient, is common in head and neck cancer patients and causes stress, anxiety, and isolation in these patients. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of data on the topic. Treatments of body image disturbance for head and neck cancer patients remain unknown preventing us from providing patients with the best cancer care. This study will evaluate the effects of a type of therapy on body image disturbance in head and neck cancer patients undergoing surgery.
Delays in starting radiation after surgery for head and neck cancer disproportionately affect minorities and those of low socioeconomic status, causing increased mortality. The barriers that prevent the delivery of timely, equitable postoperative radiation remain unknown. This study seeks to identify the barriers to timely, equitable postoperative radiation following surgery for head and neck cancer.