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Supportive Care

Palliative Care Considerations for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer With Children at Home

Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson
Rebecca Ott
CJON 2016, 20(6), 585-587 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.585-587

Adult patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer (HNC) who may have contact with children in the home setting are at risk of experiencing distress because of embarrassing and challenging oral symptoms often associated with an HNC diagnosis and the side effects of required treatments. This article features a case study involving a patient diagnosed with HNC and details how oncology nurses can provide patients with HNC and their caregivers with resources and support.

At a Glance

  • Patients with HNC often experience pain and embarrassment because of oral and body image side effects during and after radiation treatments.
  • Homecare management stress is commonly reported by caregivers of patients with HNC.
  • Oncology nurses are particularly well positioned to offer psychosocial-focused palliative care support to patients with HNC and their caregivers during radiation treatments.

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