ENT diseases consist of all disorders found in ear, nose and throat.
Patients who have Head and Neck cancer may develop Trismus because of radiotherapy or surgery. Specific devices and tools are needed for the patients to recover quicker and improve their quality of life.
Q: What is Trismus?
A: Trismus is also known as “lockjaw”. People who have Trismus will have reduced ability to open their mouth or feel pain when opening mouth. Trismus patients may have difficulty in chewing, speaking, swallowing and making facial expression. The absence of joint movement can lead to inflammation, causing the joint to stiffen and gradually lose its function. If not treated promptly and properly, this hidden disability can seriously affect recovery, health and quality of life.
Q: How to know if I have Trismus?
A: You can test if you have Trismus easily at home with the “Three Fingers Test” (see illustration). Simply insert three fingers between your upper and lower teeth or dentures. If you can do it without pain or discomfort, your jaw mobility is mostly likely normal. If you can only manage one or two fingers and are in pain, you may suffer from Trismus.
Q: How to treat Trismus?
A: Studies show that stretching combined with passive motion is an effective way to improve jaw mobility.
Conventionally, speech therapists would use tongue depressors to treat Trismus patients. They would stack up several tongue depressors to put in between patients’ upper and lower teeth. By doing this, therapists can gradually open patients’ mouths and passively activate jaw muscles. However, this method is inconvenient.
With TheraBite®, you can stretch muscles with passive motion. This nourishes the joint without activating painful muscles. The joint can also remain completely relaxed while an external force moves the jaw through its natural range of motion. Exercise with TheraBite® system, the expected rehabilitation outcome is an increased jaw opening of 1-1.5mm per week.
Q: What is Total laryngectomy?
A: A total laryngectomy is a surgical procedure performed in advanced stages of cancer in or near the voice box (larynx).
Q: Why will I lose my voice after surgery?
A: A laryngectomy means your larynx is removed – including your vocal cords. But there are several ways to regain your voice with the help of your speech and language therapist.
The three most common voicing methods learned after surgery are: speech with a voice prosthesis (tracheoesophageal speech), electrolarynx and esophageal speech.
Your voice will sound different than it did before, because it is no longer coming from your vocal cords. With esophageal and tracheoesophageal speech, your voice source will be located in your food pipe instead.
Q: Why should I choose Provox® Vega instead of electrolarynx?
A: The voice produced with the electrolarynx has a tinny, somewhat “robotic” sound, which can be modulated to some extent. In contrast, speaking with a voice prosthesis gives you the most natural sounding and easy to understand voice.
Q: How voice is created by Provox® Vega?
A: After your surgery, all breathing takes place via the opening in your neck (also called a tracheostoma or simply called stoma). When covering the stoma before exhalation, all the air from your lungs is directed from the windpipe, via the voice prosthesis, into the food pipe before reaching your mouth. When the exhaled air passes through the upper part of the esophagus, the surrounding tissue will start to vibrate. These vibrations create the sounds that end up as spoken words when shaped by the tongue and lips.
Q: Why use a Heat and Moisture Exchanger (HME)?
A: After a total laryngectomy, you breathe through the stoma in your neck. This means the air that reaches your lungs is cooler and less humid than it should be. Your lungs react by producing more mucus, and your windpipe can feel irritated. You may start to cough a lot and have to clean your stoma more regularly, which can be uncomfortable to do in public.
Most people find that fitting HMEs can help.
Q: How HMEs work?
A: The HME sits over your stoma as you breathe through it, warming up the air and making it moister in the process. It does this by “catching” the heat and humidity of exhaled air, and then transferring it to the air you inhale.
To really see the benefits of your HME, you need to wear it all the time. If you haven’t used the HME before, your lungs may start to produce more mucus. This is completely normal and will settle down within a couple of weeks once your lungs have adapted to the new HME filter.
Q: What are the benefits of using HME?
Greatly decrease rgespiratory symptoms such as cough, stoma contamination, excessive secretion of sputum, sputum, shortness of breath.
Significantly eliminate other problems that affect quality of life such as fatigue, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, social contact.
Reduce tracheal dryness
Greatly improved vocal quality and ostomy closure for vocalization.
Q: What is Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC)?
A: NPC results from the abnormal growth of the cells of the nasopharynx.
This malignant disease is more common in men than women. It is also common in Southern Chinese, especially among the Cantonese.
Q: What causes NPC?
A: The major risk factors of NPC are:
Certain diet or foods, e.g. salted fish and smoked food
Exposure to certain virus e.g. the Epstein Barr Virus
Q: What are the common symptoms of NPC?
A: Common presentations are:
Painless lump in the neck
Blood-stained nasal or throat discharge
Defective hearing or partial deafness and ringing of the ear
Recurrent infection of middle ear
Persistent blocked nose
Q: Is there any method for early detection of NPC?
A: Yes, there is a new method named NP Screen which can detect NPC at its very early stage.
Q: What is the procedure after sampling?
A: After obtaining the sample of nasopharyngeal cells, the test report is usually available in about ten days, and the doctor will make an appointment with the tester for report explanation.
Q: What does it mean if the result is "negative" after NP Screen?
A: The negative result of the test represents a very low chance of suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer, only about 0.4%.
Q: What does it mean if the result is "positive" after NP Screen?
A: The positive result of the test represents approximately 98.7% of chance of suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer. The specialist will arrange the tester to further undergo a nasopharyngeal biopsy and confirm the results after detailed testing.
Q: How often should I take NP Screen?
A: Similar to tests for cervical cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer, NP Screen should be taken regularly and can be done on a yearly basis. In patients with a predisposition (i.e. genetic or family background) for NPC, semi-annual testing may be considered because treatment outcome depends on early detection.