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Specialist to raise awareness of head cancers

Wednesday 1st August 2012

A specialist cancer nurse will be in the Alhambra centre next week to raise awareness of lesser known types of the disease.


The hospital's head and neck cancer specialist will be there on Monday and Tuesday to demonstrate symptoms to be aware of and provide information about the local support group, Headstrong, and guidance.


In Barnsley approximately 40 people a year are diagnosed with a cancer of the head and neck including cancer of the eye, ear, oral cavity, nose, salivary gland and voice box.


Lisa Smith, head and neck nurse specialist said:  “It is often the case that people are unaware that such cancers exist and quite often the symptoms they present with can be regarded more as troublesome rather than life threatening. We need to raise awareness so people can be diagnosed earlier – giving a greater chance of a positive outcome.


“Treatments for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The problem with head and neck cancer is that often treatment cannot be hidden under clothes but is visible for all to see.”


The main risk factors associated with head and neck cancer are smoking and drinking. Lisa said: “Head and neck cancer is now not a disease that occurs only in later years, patients are presenting from as early as their teens.”

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