Many complications and side effects of head and neck cancer treatment arise after completion of cancer treatment due to continuing healing and fibrosis. Current medical care systems are primarily focused on cancer treatment and surveillance, and not management of complications and side effects. The UCLA Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Program is a multidisciplinary program to provide a comprehensive follow-up and management for head and neck cancer survivorship issues after the initial cancer treatment period. We follow each cancer patient closely and provide timely, personalized guidelines to diagnose and prevent complications at an early stage. We additionally strive to provide educational and community-oriented pathways to address quality of life issues facing cancer survivors, so patients may live a whole, meaningful, best-possible life as a cancer survivor.
Survivorship plan includes assessment and maintenance of overall wellbeing: physical, functional, emotional, and spiritual. Our multidisciplinary group of clinicians include head and neck cancer surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, dentists, pain management physicians, nutritionists, physical therapists, and others.
The UCLA H&N Cancer Survivorship Program is leading a nationwide movement to improve care in the cancer population beyond the initial cancer treatment. This stems from an increasing realization that many of the adverse sequelae of cancer treatment are not being addressed effectively or comprehensively. With the help of institutional and philanthropic assistance we are advocating for a more complete care of cancer patients.
We are leading fundamental changes in the approach to cancer care by empowering the patient with information to cope with cancer survivorship and providing a patient-specific Cancer Survivorship Plan. Through close follow-up, advocacy, and collaboration with the patient, we assist and empower the patient to cope and maintaining a robust life after cancer treatment. Concurrently, we engage in research to elucidate the biologic basis of and prevention of long-term adverse effects.
Cancer survivorship plan and pathway is offered to all head and neck cancer patients who receive their cancer treatment at UCLA. Others may enter the program by contacting our Program Coordinator at (310)267-7076.