A functional evaluation of patients treated for oral cancer. A prospective study.
The oral function of 81 consecutive patients with intraoral squamous cell carcinoma was assessed at diagnosis and during the follow-up 1-2 years after diagnosis. Patients received either radiotherapy, surgery, or radiotherapy and surgery. Speech function and tongue mobility were better among patients who received radiotherapy alone than among patients treated with surgery or combined therapy. Subjective complaints about mucositis, poor dental status, and loss of teeth were most pronounced among patients who received radiotherapy. Patients with tumor recurrence reported a poorer quality of life and found it more difficult to accept their treatment than patients with successful primary therapy. Patients with stage I tumors, notably patients treated with surgery, felt that their quality of life was good after treatment.
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