Shows dominant symptoms at diagnosis

First symtoms of head and neck cancer

Our Facebook group has 577 members with 350 active members at this point in time. 

We’ve been going since 2016 and have 268 New Zealanders, 160 Americans, 67 Australians, 28 UK people and 14 from Canada.

There ARE people from other countries but in small numbers that our FB  engagment analytics don’t show. Our top cities are Auckland, 105, Christchurch 19, Sydney 15, Wellington 11 and Hamilton 9. We know we have many people in the central North Island region who attend Palmerston North Hospital and some keen members from Otago/Southland.

Most of our engaged members are from New Zealand and Australia. People from other countries join but move on when they find support closer to home.

Sixty-three people answered the Facebook poll above which asked about the first symptoms of head and neck cancer. Most of the replies came from New Zealand patients but symptoms are the same all over the world! Some had recurrences and ticked two boxes. There were some one person choices like overgrowth of gums, a persistent cough and a bad smell in the mouth.

The results here look logical because we know that HPV-related HNC often manifests as a neck lump and this is now the most common type of HNC.

Of course we are not a representative group. More women than men join these Facebook groups and Facebook use is by no means universal.

Some of our most active members are women who have had oral tongue cancer like me. I’m sure there are other ways in which this poll is skewed. However, it’s a rough indication of what we want to warn people about as WHNCD on 27 July approaches.