Ann Blackford

By

College: Medicine

Voice and Swallow Assessment Services Available for Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Published: Dec 3, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2012) -- Physicians and faculty from the University of Kentucky Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the UK Clinical Voice Center recently joined forces with the Markey Cancer Center to provide the most up-to-date, technologically advanced service in the region for voice and swallowing assessment for head and neck cancer patients.

 

"Patients with cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and jaw, often suffer significant side effects on their voice and swallowing, ultimately affecting quality of life," said Rebecca Hancock, senior speech language pathologist at the UK Clinical Voice Center.  

 

The new state-of-the-art laboratory clinic located within the Markey Cancer Center includes high definition stroboscopy, which will help in surveillance of cancer, detecting laryngeal pathology and staging tumors, as well as high speed laryngeal imaging, a new clinical tool that shows real time vibration of the vocal folds.

 

"Since the vocal folds vibrate 80-250 Hz (cycles per second), the vibration cannot be assessed with the naked eye. High speed offers real time imaging at 4000 cycles per second, so true vibration and movement are captured enhancing the diagnostic process," Hancock said.

 

Speech pathologists in UK's Clinical Voice Center who specialize in voice and swallowing disorders work closely with ear, nose and throat physician specialists in many areas of head and neck cancer care.  Their coordinated assessments allow for patients to often be seen at the same visit, thus minimizing multiple return visits.  These instrumental assessments are mixed with cutting edge care and clinical research to give the best outcome possible for our patients.

 

Cancers arising in the larynx are devastating malignancies that account for roughly 200,000 deaths annually worldwide. In the United States, it is estimated that more than 12,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and that this incidence is increasing during a time that many other cancers are decreasing.

 

"Like many cancers, however, early detection can lead to successful treatment.  Once again, the Markey Cancer Center is on the cutting edge of cancer care," Hancock said.

 

Currently, Kentucky is among the top states for number of active smokers in the United States. Kentuckians can receive assistance with quitting smoking by calling 1800-QUIT-NOW at anytime.

 

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at (859) 312-3587 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

 

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