This case study details a patient who has experienced xerostomia as a result of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the left tonsil involving surgery followed by deep x-ray therapy.
Most malignant lesions of the tonsil are either lymphosarcoma or carcinoma. TNM classification system for mouth and oropharyngeal cancer (tumour).
The most common system used is the TNM classification:
T – indicates the size and/or extent of invasion
N – indicates the extent of lymph node involvement
M – indicates whether there are metastases present
After extensive review and assessment the patient was offered the opportunity to trial an appliance that had been certified overseas and that offered the possibility for electrical stimulation to her salivary glands. The patient agreed conditional to her waiving any expectations regarding efficacy.
Upon review in August 2013, the patient reported doing well. However, no more salivary f low was detected. The patient was using the appliance according to instructions.
The patient returned for an assessment visit in February 2015 and reported improved sensation of saliva flow. The patient advised that she did not need to use as much water but nevertheless was still experiencing the sensation of having a dry mouth. On examination there were no findings of clinical significance and the patient was advised to attend for review in 6 months.
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