On Wednesday the JCVI, the committee that makes recommendations about vaccinations, delayed its final decision about extending the HPV programme to boys as well as girls. The reason given was that more work was needed on modelling the consequences of doing so.
This is a welcome development given the statements the JCVI had previously published seemed to significantly understate the role of HPV in causing head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancer patient groups are of one mind on this issue, as are the clincians’ associations, and we hope the re-modelling will lead to a final recommendation for equal vaccination.
(Members at a recent business meeting)
We will end the year with a couple of regular social events. On Dec 1st we travel to Matlock for the Victorian Christmas Market and on the 13th we have our Christmas Lunch.
2017 has been something of a roller-coaster ride. We have had some superb events, such as the visit to the National Memorial Arboretum and our annual Canal Trip. Membership has increased as we attract new patients from a much wider area – this shows how much support groups are needed and valued.
A less welcome aspect of the year has been the several times members have faced serious battles against health problems – cancer and otherwise. But every time members have supported each other and as a group we are stronger than ever.
Our focus is not confined to our members. We have supplied boogie boards to patients and to our local ENT ward to facilitate communication when patients cannot speak and raised funds to support NALC.
Esther Hutson’s father, Trevor, is a laryngectomee
Next year Esther is running in the London Marathon and will be raising funds for NALC.
Please have a look at her story and support her if you can.
On Nov 2nd Channel 4 broadcast a programme called A Summer to Save My Life. It followed the journey of 3 patients who were receiving immunotherapy treatment for their cancer. As can be expected not all of the programme was comfortable viewing. If you missed the programme then the All 4 website or app can provide it for some time.
NICE has been investigating the use of Nivolumab in head and neck cancer. To date imunotherapy has only been available via a clinical trial. In October NICE decided to approve use of the drug via the Cancer Drugs Fund. Head and neck patients for who the more usual chemotherapy treatment has not worked will be eligible, though there are some limitations on the duration of the treatment.
More details here LINK