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Research Opportunity: Eating Together after Cancer

Do you have trouble swallowing after treatment for head & neck cancer, and you…

  • have completed any cancer treatment at least 6 months ago?
  • are at least 18 years old and living in the community?
  • eat entirely by mouth, or eat regularly by mouth and use a feeding tube to supplement eating?

If these statements reflect your situation, you qualify to take a brief (~ 15 min) survey asking about your opinions regarding how dysphagia impacts eating with others. Identification of people with dysphagia who experience a significant impact on psychological and/or social health could facilitate personalized interventions aimed at improving quality of life, despite the presence of dysphagia.    

This study is being conducted by Jan Pryor, a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Sciences at University of Washington, Seattle.

Interested in participating? Fill out the form below:

Eating Together After Cancer



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Xerostomia = Dry Mouth

Byline: Jennifer Kurtz is a Speech Language Pathologist and stage IV oral cancer survivor practicing at Overlake Medical Center near Seattle, Washington. Her experience has given her an unexpected, yet unique, perspective on the clinician’s role in the management of the Head & Neck Cancer population and has motivated her to advocate for aggressive, collaborative, multi-disciplinary care of all patients across a broad continuum.


Xerostomia describes the subjective sensation of oral dryness and is commonly called “dry mouth.” The typical causes of dry mouth include medications, radiotherapy to the head and neck for cancer treatment, and systemic diseases.

mouth

Xerostomia can have a profound, negative impact on quality of life. The lack of salivary production impacts the ability to eat, sleep, speak, and swallow (Lew & Smith, 2007). Adequate salivary flow allows us to speak clearly without our lips sticking to our teeth and to mix saliva with food when we chew to enable easy transfer through the oral cavity as we swallow. Inadequate salivary function can create a number of complications such as: continue reading →



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Webinar Recording: Gaining Greater Body Image when Living with Dysphagia



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When Breath Becomes Air a book by Paul Kalanithi

When Breadth Becomes AirBy: Ed Steger, President, NFOSD

[Note. Why I’m writing this book review. Plain and simple, Paul’s story resonated with me in so many ways. The book was given to me as a gift by my daughter in January, this too has special meaning.]

This book, for those of you not familiar with it, is a book about death and how death gives meaning to life. It is the new “darling” of The New York Times and NPR. It is written in a genre similar to The Last Lecture and Being Mortal. This isn’t a spoiler as it is on the book’s inside jacket cover, Paul Kalanithi, the author and a neurosurgeon, contracted lung cancer and died in March 2015 at the age of 36. continue reading →



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Advice from Survivors to Patients with Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer