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Dedicated team in place for head and neck cancer patients

Dedicated team in place for head and neck cancer patients
27 July 2022

To support the needs of our Island patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer we have a dedicated multi-professional clinic, based in our ear nose and throat department, in place for those who have to travel to the mainland for treatment.

Head and neck cancer is the eighth most common cancer nationally and globally, and since the early 1990s, head and neck cancer incidence rates have increased by around a third (34%) in the UK.

The main treatment options include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Treatment can be tough with many side effects affecting mouth and throat comfort, ability to eat, drink, speak, taste food and facial appearance. After the treatment has finished, many patients experience severe symptoms and side effects, and they can be at risk of complications which can require unplanned hospital admissions.

All our patients who have recently been diagnosed and who have completed their treatment can be referred to this clinic for further support. The clinic provides a wrap around, one-stop post treatment care and the team consists of 2 clinical nurse specialists, a consultant ear nose and throat surgeon, a clinical nutrition nurse specialist a speech and language therapist and a dietitian.

Our clinic is really valued by our patients, who can see all of the team in 1 place and without having to travel or attend multiple appointments. Our patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

A head and neck cancer survivor, Helen, wrote:

“All of the professionals at the meeting put me at ease, gave me excellent advice, they listened to me and my experience/side effects. They were all supportive and made sure I knew how to deal with my side effects.… An excellent service which benefited me and should continue.”

Did you know?

  • Successful treatment of head and neck cancer depends on early detection. Knowing and recognising the signs and symptoms can save your life.

Look out for:

  • A lump or swelling in the neck
  • A persistent change in the voice (hoarseness)
  • A growth in the mouth (tongue, gums, etc.)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Persistent earache

You can find out more about head and neck cancer and the symptoms on the NHS website. The Macmillan website has lots of advice and support available if you are worried about any symptoms or have been diagnosed with cancer.

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