Some Cancer Survivors Could Benefit From Speech and Language Intervention

“Although there may be tragedy in your life, there’s always a possibility to triumph. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph

begins with you. Always.”

– Oprah Winfrey

Cancer. There are few of us whose lives haven’t been touched in some way by this disease. While cancers of the head and neck have historically been among the more infrequent kinds of cancers, doctors say that today they are on the rise.

According to the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology, more than 4,300 Canadians will develop cancer of the head and neck this year. Fortunately, when identified early these kinds of cancers respond well to treatment.

An entire team of medical specialists may be called on to treat cancers that develop in the head and/or neck regions of the body. The professionals involved vary, depending on the exact location of the cancer, but for survivors of laryngeal, thyroid, nasopharyngeal and tongue cancers (among others) speech and language intervention is beneficial.

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgical removal of tissues necessary for the production of speech may change or eliminate an individual’s voice. A trained Speech-Language Pathologist can provide the intervention necessary to enable these individuals to communicate confidently again. The ability to speak intelligibly and clearly again can be achieved using a broad range of treatment options, such as articulation therapy or the introduction of prosthetics or electronic devices.

Speech-Language Pathologists also monitor and deal with the changes in swallowing that can occur with various head and neck cancers. Clients can learn to select the most appropriate foods and liquids to consume to avoid swallowing challenges.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, the clinicians are optimistic, caring professionals who work in a variety of settings to help individuals learn to communicate confidently. If you have concerns about your speech, language, swallowing, or communication skills feel free to contact the clinic to arrange for an assessment.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.