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What are our values? Friendly Friday.

When we became an incorporated society in mid-2016, we had to document our aims and values etc. We often talk about our aims: to connect, support and advocate. What about our values? Written by Diana in the first rush to incorporation, they are that we should be engaged, respectful, informed and caring. 

Now that we are 10 months down the track, it is time that we take another look at our values, break them down, perhaps change them. A poll on the committee page showed the…

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More on oral care products and Oral 7

There's some confusion in our head and neck cancer universe about the best regimen for oral care.

In many parts of the world, fluoride trays are used but not so much in New Zealand. Only one of our members has the trays, given to her by the Otago Dental School.

In most parts of NZ, we are advised to use Colgate Neutrafluor 5000 toothpaste, the toothpaste with the most fluoride. I believe "neutral" fluoride is a type that doesn't stain the teeth. We're not advised about…

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The number of after effects of cancer treatment are many and often an on-going challenge. Lymphoedema - that swollen, floppy jowls effect - and loss of hearing are two common examples and while not life threatening both detract from quality of life. The two stories this week suggest there…

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Auckland Meetings 2018

Not long to go now and we'll be back into the swing of 2018, Domain Lodge meetings included.

As you know we have had to change our Thursday meetings to first Mondays because of pressure on Domain Lodge's parking facilities. 

Meetings will be at 11.30 to 1.30. Bring your own lunch if needed. 

Attached is the programme for this year so far with two slots unfilled. The programme will be amended soon to include two evening meetings during…

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The weather with you: Friendly Friday

Everywhere you go, you take the weather with you.

Neil Finn's song is so right. Yes we make our own personal environment and no we can't control the actual weather - we have to put up with it.

Although, maybe it's not too late to stop the climate changing.

Condolences to everyone experiencing extreme weather conditions right now from our people in Greymouth enduring floods, to folk on the east coast of the US going through bitterly cold…

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Funding for Keytruda in 2018?

Keytruda, the immunotherapy drug, is expected to be registered in New Zealand this year for head and neck cancer, says a spokesperson from the drug company Merck.

Once it is registered Merck will make a submission to Pharmac for funding.

At the moment, it can be provided in private clinics but like all of these unfunded drugs it is very expensive. Givealittle accounts are often formed so that patients can access a…

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Open Letter to Val Ireland

Readers, Val Ireland made an impassioned plea for help following a series of poor outcomes from head and neck cancer treatment/reconstruction in Auckland.

You can read Val’s story here. http://nzh.tw/11966945

I have decided to openly respond to Val to encourage open discussion about the current service, and the steps we, at the Network are taking now, and in the future to improve the performance of the…

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Happy New Year

Good wishes to all our members and to people affected by head and neck cancer everywhere.

Let's hope the new year ushers in good things for those of us in this corner of the health care universe. Always hopeful. Always ready to support those who need help on their head and neck cancer pathway. 

There's nothing magical about a new year in my book. It's what we make it, a time to reflect, to make plans, to throw out the things that didn't work…

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A kiwi blessing for Christmas

May the rain fall on the cracked earth

May the gaps in society be filled
May the earth get back on its axis

May the rivers be cleaned
The kauri saved
And the mountains covered in snow

May there be new treatment for metastatic head and neck cancer
May Pharmac fund…

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Can we make ACC fairer? Summer Wednesday.

Weds Weekly is in summer hiatus so I will endeavour to post one important health story each week until normal service resumes. 

Ever wondered about the discrepancy between disabling illnesses and disabling accidents? Have a listen to this interview with someone who is taking a good look at this issue. 

ACC barrister and researcher Warren Forster has been named the NZ Law Foundation International Research fellow for 2017. He will spend…

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Guest Editorial - Living with Disfigurement

There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face. - William Shakespeare

These plastic surgery quotes were retrieved from New Zealand clinician sites on 4 December 2017.

“...it’s your face which people notice first. Your face projects an image to people about who you are.”

“Plastic Surgery: Empowering You With The Confidence To Succeed In Both Your Career & Social…

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Season of goodwill: Friendly Friday

Friendly Friday is about counting our blessings. Christmas , for all its crass commercialism, is called the season of goodwill. 

Today we want to thank the health professionals who care for us: nurses, surgeons, speech language therapists, oncologists, all the people who make up a head and neck cancer team. 

Olwen has made a virtual card to show our appreciation. …

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A recent NZ Herald story about a young woman with recurrent nasopharyngeal cancer aroused our interest in the immunotherapy drugs Keytruda and Opdivo, approved in NZ but not funded for HNC. 

Eve McGauley was only 15 when she contracted the disease. She went through the awful…

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