What causes trismus?

Trismus is caused by damage to the muscles used for chewing. During surgery, trauma, or radiation therapy there is commonly secondary damage to the areas around the tumor site. As this damage heals, the body forms scar tissue at the site. As this scar tissue ages it becomes less flexible. These changes result in the limited jaw motion that is identified with trismus. The Christie Hospital NHS Trust in Manchester has recently published the results of 5 year’s clinical research looking into the use of the hand operated device which fits inside a patients’ mouth, Therabite® versus wooden spatulas in the improvement of Trismus, (any restriction of mouth opening), in head and neck cancer patients. They presented their findings to the British Association of Head and Neck oncologists in May 2016.

Web Whispers

For those who are facing larynx cancer and have questions about treatments, surgery, recovery, and what life is like after a laryngectomy, you have the opportunity to find the answers here, while you are 'singing in the rain'.

Fatigue: What a Patient Needs to Know

Fatigue is the most common symptom associated with cancer and cancer treatment. For many patients, fatigue can have a profound negative effect on quality of lives. It can impact one's sense of well being, ability to perform daily activities, relationships with family and friends, ability to cope with the illness as well as withstand the treatment.

Managing Side Effects

Constipation can be a major side effect of cancer therapies. If not treated, it can lead to more serious problems. Visit the Managing Side Effects Center on for what you need to know about constipation, hair loss, anemia, fatigue, skin problems, infections, dizziness, and many other topics.

Nausea and Vomiting (PDQ®): Supportive Care - Patients

This patient summary on nausea and vomiting is adapted from the summary written for health professionals by cancer experts. Nausea and vomiting are two of the most upsetting side effects for cancer patients. This brief summary describes nausea and vomiting, their causes, and treatment.

Oral Complications of Cancer and Cancer Therapy

Oral complications are common in cancer patients, especially those with head and neck cancer. These articles describe oral complications caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy and various methods of prevention and treatment. The information on oral complications of cancer and cancer therapy is written for health professionals by cancer experts, from the National Cancer Institute.

Diet and the Cancer Patient

Many people with cancer experience eating problems. This booklet is divided into three parts.

Part One

The building-up diet, is a diet high in energy and protein and has been designed specifically for people with cancer who have lost or are losing weight or can only manage to eat a little.


Part Two

Eating problems, has helpful hints for people with cancer who have temporary eating problems caused by their disease or treatment. For example, you may be feeling sick, have mouth ulcers or be too tired to cook a normal meal.

Part Three

A healthy eating guide, is for people with cancer who do not have eating or weight loss problems.