It was satisfying to be able to hold a stall again on World Head and Neck Cancer Day. There is an almost joyful camaraderie among patients, carers and staff who are touched by this cancer.
Yes, we were all masked up to the max but meeting in person after two years and connecting to new people was a gift after two years of Covid.
I was impressed by the press releases and social media campaigns conducted by other groups too.
More FM interviewed our board member Nicky Macdonald who had contacted them after one of the presenters complained about mouth ulcers. She told her story of tongue cancer and how important it is to see a doctor if a symptom persists for longer than 2 – 3 weeks.
You can listen to Nicky’s interview here:
WHNCD can do three things: promote the HPV vaccination, raise awareness of warning signs and show aroha to those who are suffering from this cancer and its long term effects.
How many head and neck cancers are diagnosed each year in Aotearoa? We have tried so hard to find out, even ringing treatment centres around the country. On reflection we think it is probably about 1000 diagnoses rather than 1500 pa. (Interestingly HANCA says that there are 5000 per year in Australia and Australia has five times as many people as Aotearoa.)