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26th July 2022, 17:34

Head & neck cancer: GHA launches self-referral questionnaire & talks about the risks & symptoms

Published by GBC News

There are steps you can take to reduce the risks associated with head and neck cancers, such as not smoking, avoiding alcohol abuse, and eating a balanced diet.

A relatively new service at the Health Authority specialises in head and neck cancers, which collectively are the eighth-most common cancer. Men over the age of 45 are at increased risk, especially those over 70.

Miss Catherine Spinou, a consultant head and neck and thyroid surgeon at the GHA, said you cannot always cure cancer "but when we cannot we can still manage it, aiming to improve the quality of life".

She told GBC her team aims to cure cancers where possible, and help patients live with cancer and manage the consequences of cancer and its treatment.

Miss Spinou said early diagnosis and treatment are key. Lumps in the neck or mouth, a husky voice and difficulty swallowing are among the symptoms you should look out for.

The GHA has made available a Head & Neck Cancer Self-Referral Questionnaire, with just eight easy questions.

On Viewpoint on Friday at 9pm, head & neck cancer survivor Nerina shares her story, about her diagnosis, the surgical intervention, how she stayed positive throughout and the constant support she received.