Cancer survivors can face poor quality of life

So please sign petition

 

 

 

This time it is the British Dental Health Foundation that is calling for help in signing a petition to ensure the NHS gives cancer patients proper care.

They say that  up to half of all head and neck cancer survivors face a diminished quality of life, even after five years of survival.

A recent study undertaken by the University of Iowa concluded that a large percentage of long-term survivors of head and neck cancer have poor oral function, resulting in persistent eating problems and long term depression.

  • 51.6 per cent reported problems with eating
  • one in four survivors still experienced speech problems
  • more than a third recorded low functionality after the five year analysis.

So not much difference there with long-term survivorship problems caused by many other cancers.

In Britain

Mouth cancer campaigners have recently estimated 6,000 people in the UK contracted the disease in 2011, and while early detection can transform survival rates to 90 per cent, without it one in two will die.

According to Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, the study highlights the problems mouth cancer sufferers face.

But anyone analysing this research will find that the conclusions will apply to 99% of other cancers.  We are all in this together.

While Dr Carter suggests the results show patients need as much support from the health service as possible, a loophole in the NHS means problems may be compounded, as mouth cancer patients have no guarantee that their restorative dental treatment will be paid for by the NHS.

If this sounds familiar, more and more cancer patients across the board are reporting loss of care – time for follow-up appointments being stretched – or even ‘forgotten’ altogether.  Or patients are asked, “call us if you feel you want an appointment,”  knowing the average patient won’t want to make a fuss.  Tests to take longer to organise, etc.

So even if you have a different kind of cancer, it won’t take 30 seconds to support those with mouth cancer and sign the petition calling for inequality to be put right in the new commissioning arrangements for NHS dental contracts, to make sure that mouth cancer sufferers are exempt from dental charges.

Click through to  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22063

and with enough signatures this will  prompt debate of the issue in the House of Commons.

And next time other cancer survivors can ask for help with ensuring the NHS fulfils its obligations to cancer survivors.

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One thought on “Cancer survivors can face poor quality of life

  1. barrie leyshon January 31, 2012 at 9:55 am Reply

    Hi Verite
    This is very close to me.
    Radiotherapy destroyed my teeth
    Hi possibility of mouth cancer if i had treatment but mouth bad

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