Chronic swallowing problems after head and neck cancer


About the research

Thanks to new radiotherapy techniques, more and more patients with head and neck cancer are surviving. But for 70% of them, this radiation causes chronic swallowing problems, making it difficult to eat and drink. By training their tongue, mouth, and throat muscles, Hanne Massonet (KU Leuven - University of Antwerp) hopes to help them enjoy food and drink again 🏋

Hanne Massonet
KU Leuven - UAntwerpen

Fascinated by the normal swallowing process and swallowing disorders (dysphagia), Hanne Massonet completed a postgraduate course in dysphagia after her master's degree in speech-language pathology and audiology sciences at KU Leuven. Having worked several years as a speech-language pathologist in the head and neck oncology department of University Hospitals Leuven, it became clear that treating swallowing disorders in patients with head and neck cancer can be challenging. With the support of 'Kom Op Tegen Kanker' and her supervisors at KU Leuven and the University of Antwerp, she was only too eager to apply for a PhD position to find the most efficient treatment for patients with chronic swallowing disorders due to radiation or chemoradiation for head and neck cancer. Her ultimate goal is to improve the swallowing function and quality of life of head and neck cancer survivors.

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