AMSTERDAM--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) today announced the launch of a healthcare professional (HCP) information day as part of the first Make Sense Campaign head and neck cancer awareness week. Globally, head and neck cancer is the 6th most common cancer and is twice as common as cervical cancer. Despite this, its signs and symptoms are widely unknown among many HCPs – even those who could be involved in the early stage detection of the disease.
“As part of our efforts to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and promote understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disease, we have an informational booth at ECCO-ESMO, and are proud to announce the launch of a new website – www.makesensecampaign.eu – which contains additional information.”
The signs and symptoms of the disease are often symptomatic of other more common illnesses and therefore an accurate diagnosis can be delayed. Consequently, the EHNS is spearheading the fight to improve awareness of the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer amongst healthcare professionals in order to support earlier diagnosis and referral, resulting in improved outcomes for patients. Many physicians may encounter only one or two cases of head and neck cancer throughout their career, but it is vitally important that all patients receive accurate and timely care.
“The EHNS is committed to improving outcomes for people with head and neck cancer across Europe, but can only do this with support from our peers in the healthcare community,” said Professor Jean Louis Lefebvre, President of the EHNS and Professor of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Centre Oscar Lambert, Lille, France. “As part of our efforts to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and promote understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disease, we have an informational booth at ECCO-ESMO, and are proud to announce the launch of a new website – www.makesensecampaign.eu – which contains additional information.”
According to international guidelines2 a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment and follow-up – including involvement from patient advocacy groups – should be the standard of care in Europe. In addition, to improve patient outcomes the EHNS is advocating that all treatment for people with head and neck cancer, where possible, is delivered from centres of excellence.
“Alongside rising incidence and low awareness, it is alarming how many patients are being diagnosed in Europe with advanced stages of disease,” said Professor Wojciech Golusiński, Professor of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Greater Poland Cancer Centre, Poznan, Poland. “Even with the best surgical and therapeutic intervention, when diagnosed at this late stage, treatment outcomes are sub-optimal. Therefore, it is essential that European healthcare professionals join forces and commit to learning and promoting the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer, subsequently encouraging earlier diagnosis, and thus reducing the numbers of patients diagnosed at the advanced stages.”
How to get involved:
If you would like to get involved and help raise awareness of head and neck cancer, you can:
- Attend the EHNS stand at ECCO-ESMO 2013, in Amsterdam to find out more about head and neck cancer from members of the EHNS
- Get people talking – download flyers and posters to promote the Make Sense Campaign and get people taking about the ‘One-for-Three’ signs and symptoms tool
- Share videos – Watch and share videos about head and neck cancer
- Sign the Make Sense Campaign petition – Show your support, alongside European Parliamentarians for the Make Sense Campaign http://makesensecampaign.eu/petition
- Join the conversation on Twitter – use the hashtag #makesense and visit @makesensecmpgn
For more information, visit www.makesensecampaign.eu.
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Notes for Editors
The Make Sense Campaign is supported by Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim and Transgene.
1 Vermorken JB and Specenier P. Ann Oncol 2010;21(Suppl 7):vii252-61.
2 American Cancer Society National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Dermatol Nurs 2005;17(2):119-31.