New approach could help throat cancer patients speak again

29 November 2016

A new approach to treatment could help throat cancer patients to potentially regain their ability to speak.

Researchers from the University of Kent have developed a new method of care for patients who have to have their larynx removed that utilises long-lasting replacement voice boxes made from silicone.

Currently, these silicone replacements often fail after a short time, but the team has indicated that this may be caused by a fungal infection called Candida albicans. As such, the new method involves treating this infection as a matter of priority.

It was found that this approach was able to extend the life of the replacement voicebox significantly, allowing patients to carry on speaking using the prostheses for much longer, while also reducing the risk of dangerous secondary chest infections.

This new method is gradually being adopted by hospitals across the UK and is expected to be used by throat cancer patients worldwide in the near future.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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