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Amazing article on HPV

Saw this on Twitter and was amazed at how she pulls no punches about HPV caused head and neck cancer. I often say that things are worth reading but this is stunning. Moreover, it's a call for action and a lesson in how to cope. 

Here is a quotation" "By the age of 25, 85-90% of people have been infected with HPV, but have cleared it. From the first exposure to oropharyngeal cancer can be as much as 30 years, for the unfortunate few who did not make antibodies against…

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Weekly Wednesday - 8 March 2017

The United States has been coming in for a share of controversy and ridicule lately, but there’s no arguing it does many things right. One of those seems to be the widespread practice of offering free head and neck cancer screenings to coincide with cancer awareness week over there – it’s an initiative NZ health boards could well emulate. And there’s added evidence that prison time is an unhealthy option. Meanwhile, consider: Archaeologists living in ancient Egypt probably didn't have…
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Improving Patient Safety with Technology

At last week's meeting in Auckland, we talked about the need for good communication in patient care. It is important for patients to have good quality information on which to base their decisions. In all the research about patient experiences in health care, the lack of good communication is a consistent theme. The good news is that technology can help us…

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Professor Ron Paterson spoke to the Auckland Support Group on 2 March. Here is my summary of his presentation.

One thing that stayed in my mind after Professor Ron Paterson’s talk on Thursday was his reference to the “uncanny valley”. There’s something mysterious and catchy about the term. What is this and what does it have to do with the patient experience?…

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Moving forward after cancer

We all try so hard to get on with things after life-altering head and neck cancer treatment. Sometimes we falter and fall because the road is so hard when appearance, eating, speaking and sometimes hearing are affected. Some people find the right recipe for coping. Maybe they had advantages we didn't have; maybe they were given better ongoing support; maybe they were gifted with an especially strong spirit. Whatever, the reason, they have made a good life for themselves and we can be…

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The following is a summary of the first talk at our Auckland Head and Neck Support meeting in Auckland yesterday. The theme was new directions in head and neck cancer treatment and care. See the end of the article for a glossary of acronyms.

Mr John Chaplin, FRACS, Head and Neck Surgeon

HPV

There have been big changes in the…

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I recently have found myself engaging with a number of people about the mental impact that a cancer diagnosis has had on their lives. There are so many different phases that most people experience from the time of receiving the news to and through treatments that may last for years or the rest of a person’s life. However, cancer treatment is usually focused solely on the physical aspects of getting rid of the cancer, if possible, and keeping it from returning. And while the physical effects of…
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Talking about HPV

This can be a delicate topic. HPV is a factor in increasing numbers of head and neck cancers. HPV is usually caught by having oral sex; this can be embarrassing but experts assure us that most of us have or have had the virus and only a few of us suffer cancer because of it. HPV is the same virus that causes cervical cancer in women, a disease that is being eradicated because of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Many countries are introducing vaccination for boys, and we are one of them. Thanks…

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Wednesday Weekly - 1 March 2017

One major catch when trawling cancer news sites are the number of prevention or warning stories – symptoms to watch for, don’t smoke, reduce alcohol etc – which to a survivor is very much after-the-fact and not particularly encouraging. However, helping others, even in a small way, to avoid the disease in all its many forms is a fairly natural and understandable impulse and it would be good to see the New Jersey initiative (see below) introduced more widely. Meanwhile consider: We…
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Network News - Monday 27 February 2017

as the year progresses we are working towards World Head and Neck Cancer Day on 27 July 2017. This year we are working with Ascot Mercy in Auckland over a series of events around the day. These include: A professional development session for medical and dental professionals, An education session for Mercy Ascot staff, A public lecture, Free clinics for people who have signs/symptoms of head and neck cancer.
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Wellbeing Resources

From time to time, I hear people affected by head and neck cancer (patients and family/whanau) struggling to keep their head "above the line". There is no shame in acknowledging that head and neck cancer hit us, and our love ones hard. We all know that to stay well, we need to call on all our resources, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.
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Wednesday Weekly - 22 February 2017

Treatments for head and neck cancer include radiation, chemotherapy and surgery - none are easy on the patient and those who’ve undergone radiation may be a little squeamish about the idea of twice daily treatments instead of just one. The lead story this week however suggests getting strapped into that plastic mesh mask twice daily may have serious benefits and the undoubted discomfort may be worth it.
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