Head and Neck Cancer (HNC): Health Campaign

Make Sense Campaign (MSC)

MSC is a health campaign in Europe to raise awareness in head and neck cancer (HNC).

The focus of the campaign are disease prevention, identifying the signs and symptoms of HNC and to encourage seeking medical advice early.

In early stage HNC, the survival rate is as high as 80-90% but when it’s diagnosed at more advanced stage (majority of patients), more than 2/3 died within 5 years.

Risk factors

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Educating public about the risk factors of HNC; cigarette smoking, alcohol, HPV.

The risk factors for head of neck cancer are cigarette smoking, alcohol and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which can infect not only cervix and anus but also the oropharynx (tonsils, base of tongue, posterior pharyngeal wall, soft palate).

HPV infection is recognised as a risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer.

In Malaysia, we need to add another common risk factor, chewing of betal nut and sireh leaf.

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Sirih leaf with lime
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Sirih (betel) leaf pinang (areca nut) with Kapur (lime)

The message

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A simple message for the public, 1 for 3. (1 symptom that last for 3 weeks –> seek medical attention).

The simplicity of the message being conveyed is the strength of this campaign (not the ambiguous campaign name).

‘1 for 3’ meaning anyone of one symptom that last for 3 weeks should seek early medical attention.

Signs and symptoms of HNC

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

• Pain in the throat

• Persistent hoarseness

• Pain and/or difficulty swallowing • Lump in the neck

• Blocked nose on one side and/or bloody discharge from the nose

Finally

It’s a great campaign, simple enough for the public to understand and take action.

Do you have any of the above symptom(s) that last more than 3 weeks?

Please seek medical advice.

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