Make Sense Campaign (MSC)
MSC is a health campaign in Europe to raise awareness in head and neck cancer (HNC).
The aim of the campaign are to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and ultimately improve outcomes for patients with the disease.
How to achieve the above objectives?
- Educating patients on disease prevention (risk factors)
- Identifying signs and symptoms of HNC
- Encouraging early presentation, diagnosis and treatment
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.
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/ makan sirih, which consist of three different plants used in combination:
- the betel nut which is the seed of the areca palm, the betel leaf which comes from the pan plant, and lime.
Can I Borrow Your Message?
The simplicity of the message being conveyed is the strength of this campaign (not the ambiguous campaign name, ‘MSC’).
‘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
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?
If you have it, please seek medical advice promptly.
Who to look for? ENT or dental specialists.