Effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on the swallowing of patients with head and neck cancer.


  • Ayesha Awan Thrive Clinic, Lahore.
  • Hafsa Noreen University of Lahore.
  • Muhammad Sikander Ghayas Khan University of Lahore.
  • Rashid Hussain Memon PUMH.
  • Malik Muhammad Qasim University of Lahore.
  • Lubna Noureen University of Lahore.




Aspiration, Dysphagia, Radiotherapy, Sydney Swallow Questionnaire


Objective: To determine the effect of Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy on the swallowing of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Study Design: Cross Sectional study. Setting: Jinnah Hospital Lahore. Period: August 2020 to April 2021. Material & Methods: It was performed on forty-nine adults of age range 19-58 years in having head and neck cancer and Glasgow coma scale score above 10. and purposive sampling technique was used. Patients who have received 50-70 Gy dosage and have completed at least 10 fractions of radiation therapy treatment or received 500-1000 Mg dosage and have completed at least 2 cycles of oral chemotherapy treatment were included. Sydney Swallow Questionnaire consisting of 17 questions, each with a 100mm long visual analogue scale for marking response except question 12, was filled by all participants and their responses were recorded. After 2 months of initial recordings same patients were asked to fill the same questionnaire. During therapy and post therapy results were recorded and paired sample T test was done on the data by using SPSS. Results: The results of SSQ shows 10.20% had scores depicting no swallowing difficulty. 40.82% scored 235-500 on SSQ scale showing mild symptoms of dysphagia, 30.61% show moderate swallowing impairment, 16.33% had moderately severe and 2.04% claimed severe dysphagia before the chemo and radio therapy. It represented that after chemo-radiation treatment, 4.06% had normal swallowing, 12.24% had mild issues, 24.49% had moderate, 32.65% patients claimed moderately severe dysphagia and 26.53% have severe dysphagia. Conclusion: Severity of swallowing difficulty was increased after the Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy.

Author Biographies

Ayesha Awan, Thrive Clinic, Lahore.

MS, Speech Therapist Allied Health Sciences, 

Hafsa Noreen, University of Lahore.

Ph.D (Scholar), Assistant Professor Health Professional Technologies, 

Muhammad Sikander Ghayas Khan, University of Lahore.

Ph.D, Associate Professor Health Professional Technologies, 

Rashid Hussain Memon, PUMH.

MBBS, MASP, SLP, Audiologist ENT, 

Malik Muhammad Qasim, University of Lahore.

M.Phil (Scholar) Biochemistry, Lecturer Health Professional Technologies, 

Lubna Noureen, University of Lahore.

MS-SLP, Lecturer Health Professional Technologies,