You may not have heard of the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, but this small charity is working to achieve great things in the fight against mouth cancer.
As sponsors of Mouth Cancer Action Month 2017, Simplyhealth Professionals takes a look at a unique charity which is making significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of mouth cancer.
Unlike other forms of the disease, the evidence of treatment and surgery for mouth cancer is often very visible and for many patients, they can suffer facial disfigurement as well as find it difficult to perform basic functions such as swallowing, breathing and speaking. As a result, patients can often suffer from low self-esteem, a lack of self-confidence, social isolation or psychological trauma.
The aim of the Head & Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) is to minimise the physical impact of cancer surgery so that patients can maintain their quality of life and feel that they can still integrate easily into their community.
Michelle Vickers, Chief Executive Officer of HNCF, said: “Our charity, led by world-renowned surgeon, Professor Mark McGurk, is championing a technique called sentinel node biopsy for head and neck cancer. This technique, which has been used in the diagnosis of breast cancer for a number of years, could stop 70% of mouth cancer patients from having unnecessary, invasive neck surgeries.
“But whilst our main aim is to raise funds so that all UK cancer centres can use this technique, we also work hard to increase public awareness around the importance of prevention, self-examination and early detection of mouth cancer. If we can help people understand the signs and symptoms, as well as the risks, of mouth cancer, then hopefully we can help slow down – or reduce – the cases of mouth cancer being diagnosed.”
Like many cancers, early detection makes such a vital difference to a person’s chance of survival; and for mouth cancer, this can dramatically increase the chances of survival to 90% from 50%. Understanding the risk factors, signs and symptoms of the disease is crucial for everyone in helping to fight against the disease.
To find out more about the Head and Neck Cancer Foundation visit www.hncf.org.uk
Find out more about our #BlueLipSelfie campaign for Mouth Cancer Action Month.
Simplyhealth Professionals is sponsor of Mouth Cancer Action Month 2017. For more information about this campaign visit www.mouthcancer.org.uk