Head & Neck Cancers
1. What are head and neck cancers?
Head and neck cancer is a general term for many cancers that start in the tissue or lymph nodes in the head and neck.
- mouth cancer (oral cancer)
- nose (nasal) or paranasal sinus cancer
- salivary gland (parotid gland) cancer
- throat (oropharyngeal) cancer
- voice box (laryngeal) cancer
Although these cancers are different, they are treated similarly, so are grouped together.
Cancer thoughts1. Encourage discussion with family, whānau, and friends.
- Cancer doesn't need to be a secret, it can be beneficial to keep your family, whānau, and friends informed and involved throughout your journey with your loved ones.
- Creating an environment where your loved one can express himself can be the first step to making sure cancer is a comfortable conversation.
- Explain the situation to wider family members and others within your community, chances are some of them will be affected by this too.
2. Support the decision to get checked.
- The decision to get a check is different for every man, but his whānau and friends can make this easier with their support.
- Some men might appreciate having a friend or whānau member with them when talking to the doctor about getting checked. Even just taking some notes so it's easy to remember what happened during the visit can be a big help
- Waiting for test results can be stressful, so make sure the man in your life making this decision knows you will be there to support them through the full process.
3. Support a man during treatment.
- If a man has a positive prostate cancer check he will need to have more visits with the doctor to determine the best treatment plan. There are several things that you can do during this time to support him.
- If the man wants, you can go to appointments with him to ask questions and take notes.
- You can help him with his decision making by doing research and exploring both treatment and non-treatment options.
- You can help him continue with life as you know it - it's perfectly possible to live a normal life with prostate cancer.
4. Staying strong
- As the supportive person, there's help out there for you too. Receiving a cancer diagnosis often triggers a strong emotional response. Some people experience shock, anger, and disbelief. Others may feel intense sadness, fear, and a sense of loss. Sometimes even the most supportive family members and friends can't understand exactly how it feels to have cancer. This can lead to loneliness and isolation.