headnecknz (19)

14334759?profile=RESIZE_710xAs part of our commitment to continuous improvement for our Head and Neck Cancer Survivors' Support Network, we want to know how you think we are doing. We have a survey available here to capture your thoughts and ideas.

Your needs, and aspirations for the Network are important to us. We need you to help us design the strategy and provide the service which best connect, support and advocates for people affected by head and neck cancer. When providing your feedback be sure to include the ideas of

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Network News 8 January 2018

Kia ora whanau,


Happy New Year

We wish you the very best for 2018. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. The holiday break is over and the Network is ready for the challenges of the year ahead. We have committed to working with the Auckland/Northland District Health Board to implement the recommendations of the 2017 review. We will continue our work with our Facebook group providing online support for those affected by head and neck cancer. We are planning an even better World H

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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 service.

An Open Letter to Val Ireland

Dear Val,

Thank you, for courageously telling your sto

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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 Life.”

“Look and feel truly amazing.”

“... facial features undergo gradual changes that can result in a ti

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Network News - Monday 13 November 2017

Kia ora whanau,

EPatient Dave Visit

It was a great honour to meet Dave de Bronkhart. Dave was a guest of the Waitemata DHB. He spoke to WDHB as part of the CEO lecture series. He kindly shared his time with a smaller workshop which some of us from the Network attended.

Dave's story is moving and fascinating, as his cancer treatment was recommended not by his health care professionals, but through a online patient discussion board. Dave's treatment worked. He has a wonderful life traveling and

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Network News - 15 October 2017

Kia ora whanau,

The Auckland Review of Head and Neck Services

2147570?profile=RESIZE_480x480As you may know, we are part of a Working Group reviewing the Head and Neck Service for Auckland, Counties-Manukau, Northland and Waitemata District Health Boards. As a Network, we value the opportunity to be part of the Working Group. It is an opportunity to deeply engaged with the issues faced by head and neck cancer patients and their families in a large region. I believe the recommendations of the Working Group are a significant

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Network News 2 October 2017

Advocacy for people affected by head and neck cancer - "Nothing About Us Without Us!

The Latin phrase is,  Nihil de nobis, sine nobis. The idea; that no policy should be decided by any representative, without the full and direct participation of those affected by that policy. This principle extends to national, local and sector policy making. It gives the opportunity for full participation from service users, consumers, and participants. It is a powerful concept for those often marginalised f

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Network News - 20 August 2017

Patient Communciation with Clinical Services


If you are a person affected by head and neck cancer, or you take care of someone affected, or you have a friend or a family member, you may have had some dissatisfaction with communication with health professionals. Research from a Auckland cancer group indicates people experience a range of communication issues including, being scared, and frustrated, exhausted from telling their story over and over again, being unclear about the processes and

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Network News - 7 August 2017


New Zealand effort outstanding for World Head and Neck Cancer Day

Our WHNC day was a huge success. I am delighted to continue hearing about events, connections, donations, and general fun and camaraderie well after the day. Thank you to all those members, and our community, who gave up their time to raise awareness, education about Head and Neck Cancer. If you missed some of the action you can catch up here.http://headandneck.org.nz/news/world-head-and-neck-cancer-day-new-zealand A special ac

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From Auckland, New Zealand. The Head and Neck Cancer Survivors' Support Network, at Waitemata District Health Board's North Shore Hospital.

2147305?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024Tammy von Keisenberg read the opening statement. Read more here.


In Australia, Brad Keeling shares his story of throat cancer and HPV. http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/01/24/3675792.


Julie McCrossin, launching the Swallows book in Australia, with some kiwi stories. 


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Opening Statement World Head and Neck Cancer Day 2017


Tena koutou,

Kia ora from Auckland, New Zealand.

We, the Head and Neck Cancer Survivor's Support Network are first to recognise World Head and Neck Cancer Day 2017. We welcome all patient groups around the world to connect, support and advocate for those affected by head and neck cancer.

As the day begins we acknowledge the aims of the day - to promote the effective care and control of head and neck cancer.

To do that we can all join togeth

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The disfiguring effects of treatment are well known to many patients who have been through it - scarring, missing teeth, muscle wastage and more. The story below however does suggest some help with one of the common effects - lymphedema - could be on the way.

Meanwhile consider:
The Prince from Cinderella must have had a serious foot fetish to not remember any other discernible characteristic about her or maybe the only difference between passion and addiction is if the thing you're doing is goo

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[Questionnaire Update] We did it!


Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our questionnaire. Thanks to everyone who shared the link, or coerced their partner. This is an authentic, credible dataset. From here we can analyse the information, and prioritise our work. Look out for our summaries, as they are published here over the next few weeks. We all have much to learn, and it starts here with quality information for quality decision making.

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Weekly Wednesday - 12 April 2017

Losing the sense of taste (and probably the appetite as well) is just one of the many side effects of radiation treatment. it’s annoying, but for a chef and restauranteur it can be a major problem. However as the story below indicates things can get better. Meanwhile consider; "The customer is always right" is arguably one of the most untrue statements used by humanity. Or maybe Humans are hiding the good food from all of our dogs, and they know.
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Wednesday Weekly - 22 March 2017


Having come through diagnosis, treatment and, hopefully, recovery the question facing most survivors is; "What’s next?’’  There’ll be physical effects to adapt to, probably psychological ones as well,  reactions of friends and strangers to cope with and much more.  Everyone’s experience is going to be different, but there are plenty of examples, with a couple below,  to prove life does not have to go on hold.

Meanwhile consider:  The reason we keep sending messages to extraterrestrials and neve

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Cancer Dictionary