His name, age, occupation?
William Haworth (Bill), 67 years old, retired Army Officer
When he was diagnosed and how he realised there was a problem?
He was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal (Throat) cancer on the 13th July 2020. Bill realised there was a problem when he had a persistent sore throat and sore gums at the upper back of his mouth; Bill described it “As if there was a tooth abscess present”. This feeling of discomfort appeared in March 2020. After 2 months of trying different remedies varying from strepsils to paracetamol the pain would not disappear. After visiting the doctor Bill was prescribed antibiotics. When his symptoms showed no improvement a month later, he was referred to a specialist at the hospital. The specialist at the hospital performed several tests, from scans to biopsies where he was finally diagnosed with cancer.
What treatment has he had/is having?
Bill has had 6 weeks of radiotherapy and 2 weeks of chemotherapy treatment.
What did he know about mouth/head and neck cancer before he was diagnosed?
Bill knew little to nothing about mouth/head and neck cancer. His grandfather died of throat cancer, but had no education about the cause, symptoms, and treatment. However, he was aware that the dentist checked for mouth cancer; other than this he had no further knowledge about mouth/head and neck cancer.
How has your Mum’s partner diagnosis affected your Mum/you/family?
Bill’s diagnosis has been extremely upsetting to his immediate family. I think an overall feeling of shock has rippled through the people close to Bill. When someone you care about is in pain, it is difficult not to be saddened and concerned.
Anything else your Mum’s partner would like to tell us about his cancer situation?
Bill understands more than most how important it is for everyone to understand mouth/head and neck cancer and how to spot early signs. He is keen to share his experience and how he can provide advice and guidance to anyone else going through the same or simpler treatment. He wants to express how unpleasant the radiotherapy and chemotherapy has been. He has lost his sense of smell and taste, and it has also affected his hearing. Overall, he hopes his story will inspire someone to seek advice from their dentist if any symptoms appear and believes the education of mouth/head and neck cancer delivered to students, professionals and the general public is absolutely critical to help to reduce late diagnosis.