Feeding Tubes During Treatment

Last Modified: June 8, 2012

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Why do I need to get a feeding tube before I even start treatment? Can't I just wait and see how it goes?


Valaree Williams MS RD LDN, Clinical Dietitian Specialist, Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn Medicine, responds:

Adequate nutrition before, during, and after treatment is essential. Based on the individual's condition, treatment plan, nutrition needs, weight loss and other factors, it may be decided by the care team that feeding tube placement prior to starting treatment is best for your treatment plan and nutrition status. Placing a feeding tube prior to treatment will prevent the possible interruption of treatment for feeding tube placement after treatment begins and ensure adequate nutrition throughout treatment.

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

Reirradiation May Extend Life in Head and Neck Cancers

Apr 25, 2015 - For some patients, reirradiation of recurrent head and neck cancer can extend life. But for those with comorbidities or organ dysfunction, such as feeding tube dependence, it is likely to offer only palliative support, according to a report in the March 16 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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