Category Archives: Uncategorized

NICE Guidance Flawed?

In 2015 NICE updated its guidelines relating to patients presenting to GPs with suspicious lesions or lumps in the mouth. It involved referral to a dentist within 2 weeks for assessment for a possible oral cancer.

Why are the patients not being directed to a hospital at once? Delay in diagnosis always worsens the likely outcome.  Given the strong link between social deprivation and these cancers how many of the patients will have a dentist to see?

The Daily Express (Nov 22)  and others reported on concerns about these guidelines, expressed in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery.

Article Link

Shout at Cancer


(The first concert in West Hampstead)

Losing one’s voice box does not mean that singing or joining a choir is impossible. I recall hearing Clifford Hughes, who once performed with Scottish Opera, singing at a NALC event in Scotland, despite having had a laryngectomy.

Dr Thomas Moors has launched a charity, aimed at using singing as an aid to laryngectomee rehabilitation. The idea of a choir whose members have no larynx may appear to be fanciful but the results contradict that notion. Just click below to listen to a recording the choir made as a tribute to the UK paralympians!


As well as being a very satisfying hobby, singing in the choir has benefits for members including a boost in confidence and improved breath control, helping with speech.

For more information see


EHNCA Coffee Morning


We returned to the historic Eyre Chapel for our second fund raising coffee morning. Once again we were raising funds for NALC as well as our own group.

It was a damp and rather gloomy morning but by 11-00am the room was full of guests. Marjorie Thorne’s baking, as always, was selling well, not just for immediate consumption but for taking home for tea!

With a raffle, table sale and a “guess the cake’s weight competition” as well  we managed to raise around £200. We thank everyone who turned up to support the event and for their generous donations.

A Busy Autumn

The end of the summer holidays will see a crowded calendar for our members.

On August 30th we will have a stall at a “Living With and Beyond Head and Neck Cancer” event at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Our members have assisted with an ambitious new initiative from Abi Miller, SLT. She has devised a programme of support to help patients cope with the lasting effects of treatment. The marketplace event we are attending concludes the programme.

On September 13th we welcome representatives from ATOS and Countrywide Supplies to advise us (and guests) of new products and developments in prescription items for laryngectomees.

September 19th-23rd is European Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. We will be holding a Coffee Morning at The Eyre Chapel to raise funds for NALC and HNChelp and also publicise the early symptoms of head and neck cancer.

Summer Evening Meal


This year we organised our Summer  Meal at our “home base”, The Olde House. Despite competing with the England football match against Slovakia, there was a healthy turnout of members, who were able to follow the score from the cheers and groans from a nearby bar.

Patient Involvement In research

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is looking to recruit new head and neck cancer patients or carers to join the Head and Neck Clinical Studies Group . The CSG meets at least twice a year and there are Subgroups and/or Working Parties, which meet in the intervals between the main Group meetings.

NALC has had members on the group for many years. New members are given lots of training and support. If you are interested please follow the link below.


NALC AGM DSC06669 Collage

On Monday May 16 our Secretary, Malcolm Babb, was re-elected as the NALC President, having first been appointed  to this office in 2013.

These are uncertain times for NALC, with Macmillan phasing out its funding. Clubs, members and other individuals have responded magnificently to the challenge of raising funds, but maintaining an office and two staff sets a high bar.

The Annual Report gives a clear indication of NALC’s work done for public benefit. The officers, staff and committee of NALC are determined to continue to support laryngectomees in adjusting to their life-changing surgery, as they have done for over 40 years, with the assistance of members of our 60+ affiliated clubs.

(The Annual Report will be available shortly on our resources page)

Tony Curtis


It was with great sadness we learned of the passing of Tony Curtis.

Tony became involved with the group when it was re-launched in 2006. For a couple of years he was Secretary and Treasurer! Without his hard work and commitment the group may not have survived those years. He finally stood down as Treasurer in 2014.

Tony’s friendship will be missed, he had a great sense of fun and we enjoyed his dry humour. We send condolences to his daughter Alison and family.

The Rotary Club of Clay Cross

Digital StillCamera

HNChelp has once again received generous financial support from The Rotary Club of Clay Cross. The picture above shows our Secretary, Malcolm Babb, accepting a cheque from Rotary Club President, Neil Greatorex, last week.

We are very grateful for this support. Finding funding to maintain existing services is far more difficult to obtain than for a new project. Whilst we have increased the number of our own fundraising events, this donation is very welcome indeed.

AGM 2016

We held our AGM on Tuesday March 8th at The Olde House.

Members received an Annual Report which is now available on our “Resources” page.

Details of the election and appointment of Officers are given on the “People” page