Researchers launch project to help reduce Head and Neck cancer inequalities

Senior friends standing in a field together while on staycation laughing and talking together. They are enjoying retirement together, being active in the North East of England.

A group of leading researchers are set to investigate why people living in certain parts of the country have some of the worst survival rates of Head and Neck cancers, compared with the rest of the England and Wales.

The project, jointly funded by Oracle Cancer Trust and North West Cancer Research (NWCR), is set to analyse the impact of the disease across England and Wales, focusing on how incidences have increased and the number of people surviving has dropped.

Head and Neck cancers account for around 30 different types of cancer, including the mouth, throat and voice box, with smoking and excessive alcohol intake proven to be major causes.

Experts say those living in deprived areas are more likely to develop Head and Neck cancer, creating major inequalities and differing chances of survival.

Now, Oracle Cancer Trust and North West Cancer Research want to identify why such differences exists and, crucially, what can be done to solve the problem.

Researchers based at Newcastle University will compare incidence rates across deprived areas and more affluent areas, before looking at how many people have survived the illness.

The year-long investigation, which launches in April, will ultimately see patients, health professionals and charities come together to look at what changes can be made to improve Head and Neck cancer rates in the region.

Alastair Richards, CEO of North West Cancer Research, said: “Sadly, we are already aware of the inequalities that exist when it comes to cancer, with the North West and North Wales being one of the worst affected regions in the country. This is largely due to us being home to some of the most deprived areas – this should not be the case.

“Head and Neck cancers, in particular, majorly impact the people living here. As such, it is a key focus for us as a charity, not only funding research like this, but also getting out into the community to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms, signposting people to advice and support.

“This study will help pave the way for us better understanding how we can tackle the inequalities and, hopefully, become closer to creating a cancer-free future.”

Since the early 1990s, cases of Head and Neck cancer have increased by 35% in the UK and is now the fourth most common cancer type in men.

And, since the Covid-19 pandemic, cases in deprived areas of the UK are almost double the UK national average, a trend which experts believe will continue.

As part of the project, researchers will also look into how the pandemic impacted diagnoses and treatment, focusing on whether regional inequalities are wider than before and why this has happened.

Tamara Kahn, CEO of Oracle Cancer Trust, says “As a Charity we work tirelessly to advance the fight against Head and Neck cancer and ensure that patients, their families and the medical community get as much support as possible to be beat the odds with regards to this disease.

“We want to ensure everyone has the best chance of surviving Head and Neck cancer but there are rising inequalities in the UK.  Around 2,300 cases of Head and Neck Cancers each year in England are linked with deprivation. We are delighted to be co-funding this project and awarding the grant to Newcastle University, having better access to data to be able to address this is issue vital.” Find out more about the signs and symtoms here

Brave Hearts Take the Plunge

On a crisp Boxing Day morning in Redcar, courageous sisters Caroline and Ann, decided to make a splash in the icy waters of the North Sea to raise crucial funds…

Ed Vanson and Guy Randall strike a chord for good with #Tedstock

In the heart of our community, there are individuals whose passion and dedication shine like a beacon, illuminating the way for positive change. Ed Vanson, a local radio DJ, and…

Peter’s Passion: A Golf Tournament that Tees Up Charity Support

In the world of charitable endeavours, the spirit of giving often takes shape in diverse and creative forms. One such example of this philanthropic spirit is Peter Papanastasiou, an individual…

Walking the North Downs Way in Memory of Dad

On Saturday 9th July 2023, Peter’s friends and family walked 16.5 miles of the North Downs Way from Wye and Folkestone, an area Peter and his wife Isabelle called home…

192 Mile coast-to-coast walk to mark 5 years cancer free

5 years after receiving treatment for a nasty Head and Neck cancer, Caroline Outterside, considers herself as one of the lucky ones and wants to give back. Accompanied by her…

Young Tongues Fund Launch

Oracle Cancer Trust has partnered up with peer-to-peer support group the Young Tongues to set up the Young Tongues Fund; funding patient support activities led by the Young Tongues, awareness…

Inaugural Peter Rhys-Evans Memorial Trophy won at Oracle Cancer Trust Golf Day

Oracle Cancer Trust’s annual Golf Day at the exclusive Cowdray Estate raises £9,043.26, whilst crowing first Peter Rhys-Evans Memorial champions.  On a fabulously sunny morning in May, at the breathtakingly…

Tubby FC hold charity match in memory of George Johnston

On the 19th May Tubby FC took on Whittington Cat FC at St Benedicts RUFC in Whitehaven in support of Oracle Cancer Trust and in memory of George Johnston and…

Lauren comes to the rescue and completes London Marathon 2023 for Oracle

Oracle Cancer Trust thrilled as Lauren Graham bravely steps up to run the London Marathon with only weeks’ notice following fellow runners’ injury. With only weeks’ to go until the…

9th Annual Charity Spring Ball in aid of Oracle Cancer Trust raises over 3k

Long term Oracle Cancer Trust supporter Angela Bryant, who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2010, hosts annual charity spring ball for the 9th time and raises £3,603 for the…

#TeamOracle completes Chiltern Challenge

Group of Oracle Cancer Trust Fundraisers complete 20 mile Chiltern Challenge on East Monday. The day started with dark skies and torrential rain, but that wasn’t going to stop our…