,Failing to recognise a neck lump as a POSSIBLE sign of HPV related head and neck cancer is still too common as shown by the case of Michael Caputo a Trump employee who was diagnosed last week.

Now Caputo is not a very nice man. He had to resign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a vile social media post accusing government health employees of sedition when they reported facts about Covid. But his case is a classic HNC story. He was losing weight – he had a walnut sized lump in his neck. Although he worked at the CDC in a roomful of doctors, he failed to make an appointment to get it checked.

I’m not blaming him for this. People think a swollen gland is just a sign of infection and it usually is.

Eventually he was persuaded to get help by the Director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, and was diagnosed with “squamous cell carcinoma, a metastatic head and neck cancer which originated in his throat”.

This sounds bad but what we in the HNC community know is that this metastasis to a lymph node is common and that even Stage 4 HNC of this type is eminently curable. It’s horrible treatment though so we need to spread the message that neck lumps need checking if they persist. Sometimes a cure isn’t possible. 

Here is a link to an Auckland site on neck lumps. Well worth a read.  https://www.thyroid.co.nz/service/neck-lumps/

Other News – Level 1

With Auckland going to Level 1 in a week or so, we will be able to organise a meeting at Domain Lodge. Watch this space for more details.

Tongue Ulcers – a story from Sydney

 One of our Facebook members sent us this story from the Sydney Morning Herald re the perplexing rise in tongue cancers in young women. Like a neck lump,  a long standing ulcer on the side of the tongue needs to be checked out.