[Source: University of Arizona Communications] – Each year approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with some form of head and neck cancer. The majority of those patients will have surgery to remove the tumors, followed by one or more rounds of radiation therapy to kill any lingering cancer cells.
A common side effect of radiation to this area is damage to the adjacent, normal salivary glands. Patients commonly experience a dry mouth that can lead to oral sores and infections, cavities, difficulty chewing and swallowing food and loss of taste.
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