An ongoing concern
Ellen Cummings talks to Michelle Vickers about cancer diagnoses and the impact of Covid-19.
Head and neck cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK, with 34 new cases diagnosed every day on average. Despite these numbers it is not as well-known as other types of cancer, and so diagnoses often come at a later stage; around 60 per cent of patients are diagnosed at stage three or four, leading to more invasive treatment and poorer outcomes.
The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) was established in 2014 with the objectives of raising awareness of head and neck cancer, developing new technology to make head and neck cancer treatment less invasive and training cancer teams to utilise this technology.
Training and technology
Traditional surgical treatment for head and neck cancer may be lifesaving, but it is also life-changing. Patients are left with facial scars, and surgery can also have lasting impacts on breathing, swallowing, speech, sight, hearing, taste and smell.