Why are my cheeks swollen after head & neck cancer treatment?

Feb 20, 2022


Following head & neck treatment the cheeks might swell. 

Perhaps your doctor has needed to cut out surgically the muscles of your cheek and disrupt the surrounding lymphatics?

Perhaps areas of your cheek had cancer and needed to go through radiation therapy and treatments. 

No one really talks about the side effects 3 months, 6 months maybe even one year following your treatment. There is something called lymphedema. It is swelling of an area, typically the area that was impacted or disrupted by your cancer and treatment. That cancer is hopefully gone now and you are following your doctor closely with PET scans and routine ENT, radiation oncology appointments but you are left with swelling. 

Who can help? A certified lymphedema therapist can help! That is who!! So ask your doctor for a referral. This might be a PT, OT or SLP with training in these areas. 

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