The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Screening for Head and Neck Cancer The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)'s Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2004) and Prevention of Communication Disorders (ASHA, 1988) advise speech-language pathologists to engage in activities to educate and prevent diseases and disorders that affect speech and swallowing. However, many speech-language pathologists may be unfamiliar with ... Article
Article  |   March 2012
The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Screening for Head and Neck Cancer
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Edie R. Hapner
    Emory University School of Medicine, The Emory Voice Center, Atlanta, GA
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Special Populations / Articles
Article   |   March 2012
The Speech-Language Pathologist's Role in Screening for Head and Neck Cancer
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2012, Vol. 22, 6-13. doi:10.1044/vvd22.1.6
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2012, Vol. 22, 6-13. doi:10.1044/vvd22.1.6

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)'s Preferred Practice Patterns for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2004) and Prevention of Communication Disorders (ASHA, 1988) advise speech-language pathologists to engage in activities to educate and prevent diseases and disorders that affect speech and swallowing. However, many speech-language pathologists may be unfamiliar with the use of head and neck cancer screening that can be easily integrated into oral mechanism examinations and perceptual voice evaluations. This paper reviews the problem created by the lack of knowledge and reduced risk perception by the general public and healthcare professionals regarding signs, symptoms, and risks for head and neck cancer. A simple six-step screening tool is included to aid the reader in integrating head and neck cancer screenings into a general oral mechanism and speech/voice evaluation.

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