Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week Sees Patients, Caregivers and HCPs 'Uniting Voices'

Monday, September 19, 2016 Cancer News J E 4

BRUSSELS, September 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • The Fourth Annual Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week kicks-off with a variety of activities promoting awareness and early diagnosis of head and neck cancer 
  • This year's theme, 'Uniting Voices' brings together the voices of patients, caregivers, HCPs and government officials to support Head and Neck cancer patients  
  • Head and neck cancer is the seventh most common cancer, affecting 686,000 people globally  

Today, on the opening day of the Fourth Annual Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (19-23 September), the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) and the Make Sense campaign announce a number of activities aiming to increase awareness of head and neck cancer risk factors and symptoms to support earlier diagnosis in patients.

Building on the success of last year's campaign, this year's activities fall under the theme of 'Uniting Voices', encouraging the unity of patient, caregiver, HCP and government official voices to encourage improvements to all aspects of the patient diagnosis and treatment journey.

"Over the past three years, the Make Sense team and participants have worked incredibly hard to ensure the campaign is as impactful as it is today and we look forward to our upcoming Fourth Annual Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. With that said, there is still much work to be done as we continue to drive awareness of the signs and symptoms and encourage earlier diagnosis of head and neck cancer, with the ultimate goal to of saving patients' lives," said Professor René Leemans, President of the EHNS and Professor and Chief of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam. "Over recent years, we have seen the head and neck cancer landscape continue to evolve and our goal is to further influence this shift to help enable better patient outcomes."  

With the landscape of head and neck cancer continually changing, this year's activities focus on providing stakeholders with credible up-to-date information on head and neck cancer to help ensure optimal diagnosis and patient care. Activities include the content update, re-design and launch of the Make Sense website, a number of 'Early Diagnosis Day' clinics across Europe, where people can receive a free head and neck cancer screening, and 'Youth Educations Days' communicating information about the disease and its symptoms to students and young adults.

An interactive map is available on the redesigned Makes Sense website to showcase awareness raising activities that are taking place across the globe.

Make Sense Website Re-Launches 

The updated, more user friendly Make Sense website aims to facilitate greater engagement with patients, caregivers and HCPs and bring it to a wider audience.

You can explore the new website content as well as discover local Head and Neck Awareness Week activities by visiting:

Making Sense of HPV 

In recent years, one of the biggest developments in head and neck cancer has been the increased understanding of the role of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the disease. You can learn more about HPV in head and neck cancer by visiting:; newly created materials can also be downloaded from here:

How to Get Involved: If you would like to get involved and help raise awareness of head and neck cancer, you can:

  • Join the conversation on Twitter - use our hashtag #UnitingVoices
  • Visit us on Facebook - share your video with our campaign webpage and use our hashtag #UnitingVoices
  • Attend and promote any local 'Early Diagnosis Day' clinics and 'Local Education Day' events
  • Get people talking - download our leaflets and posters to educate about head and neck cancer:

For more information, visit

About the Make Sense Campaign  

The Make Sense campaign, run by the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS), aims to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and ultimately improve outcomes for patients with the disease. It will do this through:

  • Education on disease prevention
  • Driving understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disease
  • Encouraging earlier presentation, diagnosis and referral

The Make Sense Campaign is supported by Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim.

About the EHNS 

The European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) is an international non-profit association based in Belgium. The EHNS is composed of individuals, national and multinational societies, and associated study groups oriented towards head and neck cancer research, training and treatment throughout Europe. Individuals from the rest of the world are also welcome to apply for membership. The intent of the EHNS is to promote exchange of knowledge in all aspects of head and neck neoplastic diseases and to promote the highest standards of research, education and training, disease prevention and patient care. For more information on the society, please visit:

About Head and Neck Cancer 

Head and neck cancer is a way of describing any cancer that that is found in the head or neck region, including the inside of the mouth and tongue ('oral cavity'), the throat ('pharynx') and the voice box ('larynx') and excluding the eyes, brain, ears or oesophagus. This type of cancer usually begins in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck: for example inside the mouth, nose and throat.

Killer Facts 

  • Head and neck cancer is the 7th most common cancer worldwide
  • It is about half as common as lung cancer, but twice as common as cervical cancer
  • Approximately 60% of people with head and neck cancer present with locally advanced disease at diagnosis
  • Approximately 60% of people diagnosed at an advanced stage will die from the disease within five years
  • Men are two to three times more likely to develop head and neck cancer, although the incidence in women is increasing
  • Head and neck cancer is most common in people over the age of 40, but there has been a recent increase in younger people developing the disease

Media contacts

Edward Brightman +44 (0)20 3595 2430

Karley Ura +44 (0)20 3595 2415



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