Enteral Nutrition Support of Head and Neck Cancer Patients

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Abstract

Patients with head and neck cancer are at high risk for malnutrition due to dysphagia from the tumor and treatment. Despite difficulty with oral intake, these patients usually have a normal stomach and lower gastrointestinal tract. Enteral nutrition support via percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) administered in the home by the patient helps to prevent weight loss, dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, treatment interruptions, and hospitalizations. It also improves quality of life. Successful management of these patients requires orderly care and follow-up by a multidisciplinary nutrition team.

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