Published: Aug. 22, 2011
Updated: Aug. 22, 2011
Radiation (high-energy rays) is used to kill cancer cells. Radiation can be administered externally using a machine, or internally by implanting seeds, wires, or catheters that emit radiation directly near the cancer.
To treat head and neck cancer, radiation is often administered after surgery to prevent cancer from returning. Radiation may also be used to shrink tumors before surgery. Or, radiation may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy to treat small tumors or to treat patients who cannot have surgery for some reason.
Radiation to the head and neck may cause side effects. Talk to your doctor about how to treat and manage these side effects.
Side effects may include:
Learn more about head and neck cancer: