New Guidelines for Long-Term Needs of Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has issued a new guideline that addresses the long-term needs of survivors of head and neck cancer.

The guideline includes recommendations for the following:

  • Surveillance of head and neck cancer recurrence;
  • Screening for the early detection of second primary cancers;
  • Assessment and management of potential physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of head and neck cancer and its treatment;
  • Health promotion strategies for nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation; and
  • Key elements of care coordination, including survivorship care plans, communication with other providers, and the inclusion of caregivers.

The guidelines were developed through the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center and funded through the Centers for Disease Control.

The medical providers for this growing population of survivors of head and neck cancers, which currently accounts for 3% of all U.S. cancer survivors, need guidance regarding how best to care for these patients, who may face both acute and chronic disability, the authors said.