Background: Patients diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) make up about 3% of all new cancer cases in the United States, with increasing numbers of these patients being diagnosed aged younger than 45 years and with human papillomavirus (HPV)–positive disease. Treatment effects may alter patients’ physical and mental states during and after treatment.
Objectives: This article provides an overview of possible OPC treatment long-term effects to equip oncology nurses with information needed to empower patients with OPC to perform self-care.
Methods: The OPC literature was reviewed to identify incidence, survival, risk factors, symptoms, treatment options, and treatment effects.
Findings: This article provides a foundation for the plan of care for patients with OPC and strategies for patients to contribute to their self-care.