Symptom clusters and management techniques

Douglas Peterson, DMD, PhD, FDS RCSEd of UConn Health, Farmington, CT discusses management techniques allied to help treat symptom clusters. If a patient has one or more complications, the team will address those using current guidelines based on high quality evidence. Research regarding symptom clusters continues to drive towards a better understanding of the causes of these complications, trying to predict which patients would develop certain types of complications, in order to try and prevent them. Dr. Peterson mentions how his work focuses on the range of complications of the head and neck, including: oral mucositis, pain, taste changes and oral infections. Very comprehensive, high-quality literature searches will be utilised to develop new guidelines. If new methods can be found to treat the pain of mucositis, it could help keep patients on their optimal head and neck regimen and perhaps keep them out of the hospital. He mentions the final impact on the new guidelines are not yet known as reviews are still ongoing. Dr. Peterson provides clinical recommendations on how to recognise symptom clusters, with the help of the guidelines. He highlights the progress of implementing future research recommendations into the guidelines directed to the symptom clusters. Recorded at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) 2016 Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer held in Adelaide, Australia.

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