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First Pan-European Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week Launched Today 23-27 September, 2013

Business Wire


-- European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) today launches first European head

and neck cancer awareness week to highlight the challenges in managing

the disease and to raise awareness of this treatable cancer

-- Head and neck cancer is the 6th most common cancer worldwide, but

remains largely unknown

-- With improved awareness, earlier diagnosis and appropriate treatment,

patient outcomes can be significantly improved BRUSSELS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) today announces the launch of the first ever pan-European head and neck cancer awareness week. The week will run up until Friday 27th September and will focus on raising awareness of this treatable disease, which kills over 62,000 people across Europe each year. Head and neck cancer is the 6th most common cancer worldwide, and more than 132,000 people were diagnosed with the disease across Europe in 2012 alone.

Head and neck cancer affects multiple areas, including the inside of the mouth and tongue ('oral cavity'), the throat ('pharynx') and the voice box ('larynx'). It does not include the brain or eyes.

"Unlike other cancers there is worryingly low awareness of the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer amongst the general public and healthcare professionals" said Professor Jean Louis Lefebvre, President of the EHNS and Professor of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Centre Oscar Lambert, Lille, France. "By launching this awareness week as part of the Make Sense Campaign, we hope to drive a greater understanding and awareness of the disease, so that we encourage earlier presentation, diagnosis and referral, and ultimately save patients' lives across Europe."

Head and neck cancer affects people of all ages, genders and ethnicities. It is most common in males over the age of 40, however, in recent years there has also been a significant increase in the number of younger women being diagnosed. The main risk factors include cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

"The public need to be educated on the critical risk factors for the disease - smoking, drinking alcohol and, increasingly, a link to certain subtypes of the human papilloma virus, HPV," said Professor Rene Leemans, General Secretary of the EHNS and Professor and Chief of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at VU University Medical Centre. "Head and neck cancer can be effectively treated if caught early enough, so it is vital that people are educated on the signs and symptoms of the disease."

By spotting symptoms of head and neck cancer early and seeking medical advice it is possible to dramatically improve survival outcomes and save lives. Experts state that if ONE of the following symptoms is present for THREE weeks people should visit their doctor.

-- Sore tongue, non-healing mouth ulcers and/or red or white patches in the


-- Pain in the throat

-- Persistent hoarseness

-- Painful and/or difficulty swallowing

-- Lump in the neck

-- Blocked nose on one side/or bloody discharge from the nose How to get involved:

If you would like to get involved and help raise awareness of head and neck cancer, you can:

-- Get people talking - download our flyers and posters to promote the

campaign and get people talking about the One-for-Three signs and


-- Share our video - Watch and share our educational video about head and

neck cancer

-- Sign the Make Sense Campaign petition - Show your support, alongside

European Parliamentarians for the Make Sense Campaign

-- Join the conversation on Twitter - use our hashtag #makesense and then

visit our website

-- Attend the EHNS stand at ECCO-ESMO 2013, in Amsterdam to find out more

about head and neck cancer from members of the EHNS For more information, visit

- ENDS -

Notes for Editors

The Make Sense Campaign is supported by Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim and Transgene.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Axon Communications Fiona Walton +44 (0)20 3595 2407 or Sophie Ryan +44 (0)20 3595 2406

Source: European Head and Neck Society

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