The announcement of the group, the first of its kind in Lincolnshire, comes during the run up to World Head and Neck Cancer Day on Saturday 27 July.
Mr Faiz Tanweer, Clinical Lead for Head and Neck at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), said: “It was clear from our patient experience events earlier this year that patients needed a peer support group for themselves and their families before, during and after treatment.
“The group will be led by the patients and carers, as only they can fully understand what they need during what can be a really challenging time in their lives. They can also invite us as professionals along to advise on specific issues or to talk through different aspects of their treatment.
“We believe this new group will provide the much needed additional support for people whose lives have been affected by head and neck cancer.”
The meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month, starting from September, in locations across the county. Further information about the meetings will be available on the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service page nearer the time.
Dyllys Firth is now one year on from her surgery which removed a cancerous tumour in her jaw. She said: “It’d be really encouraging to speak with others in a similar situation and think ‘if they can get over it then so can I’.
“As patients we don’t always know the right thing to do, so it’d be great to hear from experts at these support groups and ask them their advice outside of a hospital setting.”
The group is being set up by the Head and Neck Cancer Rehabilitation team at ULHT alongside The Swallows, a national head and neck cancer charity who offer similar events across the country. The Swallows achieved full charity status in 2011 and are committed to the support of the patient and carer through their individual journeys. The Swallows already organise monthly patient and carer meetings in Blackpool, Milton Keynes, Worcester, Northamptonshire, and from September – Lincolnshire too. The charity also have a support line for those needing help and someone to talk to – which is available 24/7 on 07504 725 059.
To celebrate World Head and Neck Cancer Day, the team at ULHT will have a stall outside the chapel at Lincoln County Hospital on Friday 26 July from 11am to 2pm. Please go along to speak to the team to find out more about head and neck cancer.
If you’re worried about any symptoms you think could be related to head and neck cancer, please visit your GP immediately.