Speech Pathology

Welcome to our Speech Pathology service for cancer patients.

We understand that a cancer diagnosis, especially head and neck cancer, can be a life-altering event for you and your loved ones. Communication and swallowing difficulties associated with head and neck cancer are common and may impact social participation and quality of life.

Our speech pathologist, Candice, has extensive experience in this area and is committed to providing comprehensive care to optimize and enhance your communication and swallowing capabilities, in turn, improving your overall quality of life throughout your cancer journey.

The Impact of Head and Neck Cancer on communication and swallowing

Head and neck cancer and its treatment/s can affect vital structures such as the mouth, throat, larynx, and salivary glands, which may affect your ability to speak or swallow.  The extent of your difficulties will depend on the location of your cancer, tumor size and staging and what treatments you have had.  These difficulties may be temporary or permanent and if left unsupported, can impact your ability to participate in social activities and to return to work.

Common challenges you may encounter include:

Dysarthria: this is the term given to changes in your speech quality. This can be  due to the presence of a tumour in the mouth or throat or because of the treatment such as surgery or radiotherapy.

Your speech may sound slurred, it may be difficult to say certain sounds or words or you may find it hard to speak clearly.

Dysphonia: this is the term given to changes in your voice.  You may experience changes in your vocal quality, pitch, or volume, resulting in a hoarse or breathy voice.

Dysphagia: this is the term given to swallowing difficulties.  Dysphagia can be caused by the cancer itself and /or treatment side effects.  You may have difficulties chewing, a reduction in your mouth opening, food or drink getting stuck in your throat, coughing/choking whilst eating or drinking or experiencing pain when swallowing.

Our specialised Speech Pathology Service includes:

  • Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of swallowing, speech, communication or voice difficulties
  • Evidence-based therapy for swallowing and communication
  • Education and counselling regarding the effects of cancer treatment on speech, voice and swallowing functions
  • Specialised assessment and management of swallowing difficulties using instrumental assessment such as Modified Barium Swallow + Fibreoptic
  • Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (jointly with an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist)
  • Specialised assessment of the voice (Laryngoscopy) in conjunction with an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist

At Restore Oncology Care, our patient-centered approach is at the core of everything we do. We believe in empowering patients to actively participate in their care and decision-making.

Candice will work in close partnership with all members of your cancer team to develop personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

Improve your quality of life today