Dentist and Mouth Cancer Foundation Ambassador has a few words of advice to help Dentists. “...
The main object of the Foundation is: The relief of sickness and the promotion and protection of good health among those suffering or at risk of Mouth, Throat and other Head & Neck Cancer by the collation and dissemination of relevant information among the public generally and by the provision of support to patients, carers and health professionals.
Our objectives are:
- to co-ordinate and lead a Mouth Cancer Awareness programme in the United Kingdom that emphasizes early detection and prevention.
- to provide counseling and support for patients and families Individual counseling sessions for people with cancer and their loved ones; conducted in person, over the phone and via the Internet.
- providing a telephone helpline and education led by experts
- providing an online support group and interactive Web community
- providing national co-ordination and support for local support groupsto provide assistance for those who need it most. Assist with obtaining financial assistance for things such as pain medication, homecare, childcare, and transportation to and from treatment;
- to foster and undertake research into any aspect of the objects of the Foundation and its work and to disseminate the results of any such research;
- to co-operate and enter into arrangements with any relevant authorities, organizations, national, local or otherwise
MCF Future Plans:
MCF plans to work to ensure that people with mouth, throat and other head & neck cancer will have access to individual counseling, an online support group, help in obtaining financial assistance. MCF will reach out to local communities, hospitals, and schools with vital information and expertise. This will be done through co-operative efforts with existing organizations like Macmillan Cancer Relief and CancerBACUP, BDHF, WCRF and other charitable organizations.
MCF’s online support group is highly regarded as patients and loved ones all over the country rely on it for support, information, and hope. It is the only dedicated online support group for people with mouth, throat and other head & neck cancer. We will continue to increase this aspect of our services in order to help more people gain access to professional support. We no longer see this as a trend, but as a necessity particularly for those living in isolated areas with limited access to professional resources. Knowledge, support and hope are essential to confronting the many challenges of a cancer diagnosis and making well-informed decisions about treatment and care.
There are very few support groups for oral and head and neck cancer survivors in the United Kingdom. However, within the last several months, there has been increasing interest in developing local support groups. Consequently, MCF is now in the process of assisting with the development of local groups nationwide.
MCF would initiate a "Survivor to Survivor" network. Through this service, survivors or their family members would be matched with volunteers who have had a similar diagnosis and treatment program. These volunteers would offer survivors information, support, hope and encouragement.
MCF’s telephone support would offer survivors and their family’s information and encouragement and provides resources and referrals on all aspects of oral and head and neck cancer. MCF’s call center would answer calls from people who are affected by the disease and need assistance finding information and identifying resources. Assistance would also be given to individuals interested in starting new support groups for oral and head and neck cancer survivors.
MCF’s newsletter would be our publication that helps to increase awareness of the many ongoing issues related to oral and head and neck cancer while offering information, support and encouragement. Medical information, authored by healthcare professionals and written in lay terminology, would be disseminated to patients, their families and friends, and members of the healthcare community. Additional information from research institutes, cancer centers, universities, governmental agencies, and medical support groups and from patients themselves would also included in the newsletter. The newsletter would help to increase awareness of the many ongoing issues related to head and neck cancer and to address the broad medical, emotional and humanistic needs of patients empowering each to take an active role in his or her recovery. This newsletter would be published four times each year.
Telephone Education Workshops to cover diverse topics related to cancer such as managing work and family, dealing with treatment side effects, and new advances in treatment. The workshops will feature experts including medical oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, oncology social workers, dentists and pharmacists.
Support, expertise, and information to schools, corporations, and community service organizations through on-site workshops, educational seminars, and telephone counseling.
The Need for MCF’s Services Continues to Grow:
- The incidence is increasing. The incidence of cancer is expected to increase. The primary risk factor for developing cancer is age and tobacco use, but an increasing number of younger people are developing mouth cancers.
- People with cancer are living longer. As people with cancer live longer, their window of need expands, and they require more services for a longer period of time. People with cancer and their loved ones need assistance from diagnosis through treatment, and when necessary, at the end of life and bereavement.
- More cancers are curable. However, treatments may have delayed or long-term side effects. Today, the long-term effects must be considered. There is a need for education for patients /health professionals to understand the risks and seek/provide the best possible care.
- Cancer treatment is often on an outpatient basis. Patients and caregivers must assume greater responsibility for their care. Great strides are being made in shifting the delivery of cancer treatment from the hospital to an outpatient setting. This change means that people with cancer and their loved ones also have greater responsibility for their own care provided locally. There is a need for education of health professionals to enable provision of the best possible care.
- Treatment choices are more complex. Patients can be confused and overwhelmed by the treatment choices available owing to medical advancements. It is difficult for patients to determine what applies to their individual situation. There is a need for education and support that people need to manage these choices and responsibilities.
- People with cancer are overwhelmed with information (some credible, some not) that is often not in the context of their individual needs. There is a need to help people sift through the information available, to understand how it applies to their individual situations.
- The importance of psychosocial services is evident. Professional counseling may improve quality of life in areas such as self-esteem, sense of control, and the understanding of his/her diagnosis. People with cancer face many challenges as they grapple with their own fears, as well as the fears of their loved ones. There is a need for emotional and practical support.
- Many patients encounter financial problems resulting from their illness. Patients and carers need information about government entitlements and private resources, and assistance in helping them to access and utilize these critical benefits.