Your voice and head and neck radiotherapy | Cancer Research UK
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Your voice and head and neck radiotherapy

Nurse and patients talking about cancer

Find out about how radiotherapy to the head and neck area might affect your voice. You can read about


Voice changes and radiotherapy

Your voice might get hoarse or husky if you have radiotherapy treatment to your voice box for cancer of the larynx. It could disappear completely for a while during and after the treatment. It should come back within a few weeks but may never sound quite the same as it was.

Radiotherapy for other types of head and neck cancer might make your voice change a little during and for a few weeks after the treatment. Your voice should go back to normal once your treatment ends.


Communicating if you lose your voice

You might find it useful to carry a small notebook and pen so that you can always write notes to people if you need to. 

Laptop computers or electronic notebooks are other ways you can communicate. Various types of small portable machines are available. Your speech and language therapist can advise you on which may suit you best.


Getting more information about radiotherapy

Find out about

External radiotherapy

Side effects of radiotherapy

Cancer of the larynx

Radiotherapy team members

For general information and support

Contact the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 (Open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Share experiences on our online forum – Cancer Chat

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Updated: 14 March 2016