Head and Neck Cancers – Additional Side Effects

In addition to possible mouth and throat problems, head and neck cancer patients may also have other side effects. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Don’t wear tight fitting clothing, especially around the neck. Wear open or loose collared shirts
  • Radiation therapy will cause hair loss in the treatment area, so if your head is being treated, you will lose the hair on your head. Re-growth of your hair depends on the dose of radiation you receive.
    • If you lose your hair, don’t forget to protect your scalp from the sun or cold. Wear a hat or scarf, and ask the doctor about which sunscreens you can use.
    • Use an electric razor to shave instead of a regular razor. Don’t use aftershave, lotions or colognes in the treatment area.
    • Don’t use any creams, lotions, powders, etc. in the treatment area unless they have been recommended/prescribed by the doctor.
    • Once you have completed treatment, always use sunscreen on the treated area – SPF 15 or higher – whenever you are outdoors.