05/01/2023 | Press releases

Extra support for head and neck cancer patients

A new group has been set up to offer peer support to patients in the Ipswich area who have received treatment for head and neck cancer, together with their families and carers.

The group will give people affected by head and neck cancer the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation, share experiences and advice and provide mutual support in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

It will be run by two volunteers who have received care from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and has been supported by the Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity.

Cheryl Yildiz, head and neck/ thyroid clinical nurse specialist at Ipswich Hospital, which is run by ESNEFT, said: “Head and neck cancer is relatively common, with around 100 patients diagnosed at Ipswich Hospital each year.

“Although treatment is often very successful, life can be different for patients afterwards. The illness can have a huge impact by making it more challenging to enjoy social activities such as going out for a meal, while others may experience difficulty speaking.

“We hope that this group will give members the chance to share their own experiences and the things which have helped them so that they can support each other through difficult side effects in a safe and welcoming environment.”

The group will meet for the first time on Wednesday 11 January between 7pm and 8.30pm at Ipswich and District Indoor Bowling Club, 136 Rushmere Road.

Future meetings will take place at the same time and place on the second Wednesday of every month.

The Swallows operates a 24/7 support line for anyone affected by head and neck cancer, which is available on 07504 725059.

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