Mark, a smoker, has recently been diagnosed and treated for a stage I head and neck cancer. He received curative radiation therapy and has come into your pharmacy complaining of dry eyes. What advice do you offer?
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Competency standards (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 3.2, 3.5
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Head and neck cancer (HNC) is estimated to be the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with 5,212 new cases in 2019.1 HNC disproportionately affects people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and is more common in men than women.1,2 The typical risk factors for HNC include tobacco and alcohol consumption, and the use of areca nut or betel quid. Although a banned substance in Australia, areca nut is still available in many different preparations, and use is more prevalent among immigrants from South-East Asian and Pacific countries, including, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and Pakistan.
More recently, there has been an increase in the incidence of oropharyngeal carcinoma associated with prior in
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