Our speech language pathology services diagnose, treat and manage problems with swallowing, speech and cognition that can come from cancer and/or treatment.
Led by a certified speech language pathologist, services are available for patients who are having difficulty communicating verbally, concentrating and expressing thoughts, or swallowing.
Services and Treatments
- Swallow therapy typically includes conducting a thorough evaluation and making a individualized rehabilitation plan. We use state-of-the-art tools for swallowing analyses, including Video Fluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS) and Fiber-Optic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). Rehabilitation plans usually include finding new approaches based on your specific challenges or exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles used for swallowing.
- For patients with head and neck cancer, we offer head and neck rehabilitation services which include Swallowing Preservation and Rehabilitation Exercises (SPARE)—an exercise program unique to our program — and an intensive swallowing rehabilitation program called Swallow Boot Camp. We also team up with physical therapy and nutrition services to treat radiation-induced difficulties such as, head and neck lymphedema, trismus, dysgeusia, xerostomia and restoration of oral nutrition.
- Voice therapy includes an analyses of your vocal cord function and voice production. We use exercises, biofeedback techniques and devices to strengthen your vocal cords and support your breathing. Our assessments include Laryngeal Videostroboscopy, an innovative technology that provides a slow-motion view of the vocal cords.
- Vocal restoration for Laryngectomy includes rehabilitation before and after surgery, counseling, and communication including electrolarynx, esophageal speech, and trancheoesophageal (TEP) speech.
- Cognitive therapy evaluates, and when needed, provides a plan for addressing cognitive changes caused by a brain tumor or cancer treatments like chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation therapy. Treatments might include training to restore attention, memory and executive function.
- Speech and language therapy evaluates and restores function lost because of disorders like dysarthria and aphasia which can be caused by brain tumors. Some patients may also receive a language assessment before surgery that can be used to minimize language disruption during brain surgery.