H&N FILMS, LLC presents
A NEW FACE IN THE CROWD
An emerging epidemic is on the horizon and no one is talking about it! It will affect mostly young 18-40 year olds and if it doesn't kill them it will kill the life they know. In the US, a new head and neck cancer case is diagnosed every 10 minutes and a person dies from this disease every 45 minutes. Head and neck cancer is the 6th leading cancer worldwide and is rapidly rising. The 5 year survival rate is only 40-50%.
In the past, head and neck cancer was primarily caused by tobacco and alcohol use, but over half of these are now caused by the HPV virus and the victims are young, non smokers, who have no clue what is in store for them.
The signs and symptoms are insidiously benign; sore throat, hoarse voice, a little bump on the tongue and thus often ignored until it’s too late meanwhile progressing into a late stage cancer requiring aggressive chemo, radiation and surgery. The result can be a life long disability in speaking, eating, swallowing and facial appearance.
There is no other more disfiguring, debilitating, life changing, socially isolating, disabling or depressing result from surviving a cancer. While we applaud and celebrate the survivor of breast cancer we turn away in shame at the head and neck cancer survivor with half a tongue, a misshapen jaw, a burned neck with a scar from ear to ear, a tracheostomy in place and a feeding tube. Imagine, this is now your daughter or your son.
The medical community is largely unaware of this impeding epidemic and will often treat the symptoms with antibiotics or a laissez-faire wait and see attitude thereby delaying the unforeseen diagnosis of cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “more than half of HPV related cancers diagnosed by 2020 will be located in the oropharynx, rather than cervix, in the U.S.
Our plan is to document and share their stories over the course of a year. It is our hope that this film will help provide information and save lives.
1. Head and Neck Cancer
Union for International Cancer Control 2014 Review of Cancer Medicines on the WHO List of Essential Medicine
2. Head and Neck Cancer: Changing Epidemiology and Public Health Implications Head & Neck Cancer, Oncology Journal, September 15, 2010
Tiffany King, MPH and Mark Agulnik, MD
3. Human Papillomavirus and Head and Neck Cancer
Head & Neck Cancer, Oncology Journal, September 15, 2010 Brenda Diergaarde, PhD and Jennifer R. Grandis, MD
4. Nuances in the Changing Epidemiology of Head and Neck Cancer
Head & Neck Cancer, Oncology Journal, September 15, 2010 Gypsyamber D’souza, PhD, MS, MPH
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