Head and Neck Treatment Side Effects

Early Reactions

  • Reduced and sticky saliva, loss of taste and appetite, altered sense of smell, nausea.
  • Sore throat, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, fatigue.
  • Skin changes: redness, irritation, scaliness, blistering or ulceration, change in color, thickening, hair thickness.
  • Hoarseness, irritative cough, loss of voice, blockage of nasal passages, and swelling of airway.
  • Inflammation of ear canal, sense of “stopped-up” ear, hearing loss, dizziness.
  • Dry and irritable eye(s).

Late Reactions

  • Dry mouth, altered sense or loss of taste.
  • Tooth decay and gum changes.
  • Bone necrosis, especially in jaws.
  • Stiffness and limitation of jaw movement.
  • Changes in skin texture and/or coloration, permanent hair loss, scarring of skin.
  • Swelling of the subcutaneous tissues, particularly under the chin.
  • Larynx (throat) changes or damage causing hoarseness, pain or difficulty breathing.
  • Eye changes or damage, dry eye, cataract, loss of vision, or loss of eye.
  • Ear changes or damage causing dryness of ear canal, fluid collection in middle ear, hearing loss.
  • Brain, spinal cord or nerve damage causing alteration of thinking ability or memory, and/or loss of strength, feeling or coordination in any part of the body.
  • Pituitary or thyroid gland requiring long-term hormone replacement therapy.