Disfigurement after Throat Cancer Surgery

OncoLink
Last Modified: June 8, 2012

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Question

Can you help me cope with the disfigurement I have and feel after surgery for throat cancer? I know I should be grateful to have made it this far, but I am having a hard time thinking of myself looking like this and I am afraid of how my husband feels looking at me.

Answer

Tracy Lautenbach MSW, LCSW, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:

Needing help coping with the changes that have occurred since your surgery and treatments is understandable. Do think about joining a Head and Neck Cancer Support Group so that you can gain the support from others who have "walked in your shoes". Also, there are some very supportive organizations out there that can put you in touch with others who can help you with these feelings. Support for People with Head and Neck Cancer, The Oral Cancer Foundation, The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance to name a few. Talking out your feelings with a counselor can also be very helpful.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Head and Neck Cancer Q&A Webchat transcript.


News
Most Head, Neck Surgeons Discuss Risk Factors, HPV

Sep 2, 2013 - Most head and neck surgeons discuss risk factors for head and neck cancer, including human papillomavirus, with their patients, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.



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