End of Life Care in Terminal Head and Neck Cancer- An Amalgamated Approach
Dr. Nagabhushana Doggalli,
Reader, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, JSS Dental College and
Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Bannimantap,
Mysuru, Karnataka, India.
Oral cancer is among the leading causes of cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide, and palliative care is a critical requirement for cancer patients. It is a multidisciplinary strategy that involves professionals from a variety of medical specialties. Yet, a stomatologist’s presence in the palliative care group is unavoidable. Although oral care is considered one of the most fundamental nursing practices, it might be affected in cancer patients due to the disease or various treatment regimens. The present review focuses on combined approach, starting with breaking down news to the family and progressing to palliative care measures for head and neck cancer patients. This includes pain management, aftereffects of chemoradiation therapy, outcome of cytoreduction, management of external fungating lesion, postradiotherapy dysgeusia management, postmalignancy therapy trismus management and xerostomia management. Furthermore, this also includes special interest topics like results of altered anatomy, cancer cachexia and Euthanasia legalisation in Indian scenario. Prioritising cure along with prolonging survival of the patient with minimal suffering is the basic goal of palliative care. As a result, a respectable death is one that is painless, serene, and honourable, occurring in the presence of loved ones and without the need for unnecessary brave interventions.