Radiation and chemotherapy are frequently used in the treatment of head and neck malignancies. Ototoxicity is a common adverse effect of these treatment modalities. This article discusses the patterns of hearing loss following chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Specific issues related to hearing rehabilitation in oncological patients will also be covered, such as controversies regarding treatment of radiation-induced serous otitis media, risks of otologic surgery, and the use of osseointegrated hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Keywords: cancer; chemotherapy; cochlear implant; hearing loss; myringotomy; osseointegrated implant; otitis media; ototoxicity; radiation therapy; temporal bone.