The Macmillan Speech and Language Therapy service for head and neck cancer provides assessment, therapy and advice for adults with communication and swallowing difficulties arising as a consequence of the cancer and/or its treatment.
The speech and language therapy team are involved with head and neck cancer patients from the point of diagnosis, throughout their acute cancer treatment, and for up to five years following completion of treatment.
Individuals due to undergo surgical and/or oncological treatment will be seen by the speech and language therapist within a multi-professional clinic prior to treatment.
The head and neck speech and language therapy team also provide support for patients who experience late onset difficulties as a result of their treatment for cancer (these difficulties can occur five or more years after successful head and neck cancer treatment).
These difficulties may include:
Individuals may require a single speech therapy appointment only, or they may require a number of treatment sessions. The head and neck speech and language therapists can accommodate all individual patient needs.
Speech and language therapists are also key workers for patients who have had their voice box removed due to their cancer. This is known as a total laryngectomy:
The Macmillan Aftercare Rehabilitation Service (MARS) provides specialist support for patients living with and beyond head and neck cancer for continued support closer to home. This outreach service covers consultant clinics at Royal Surrey, Frimley, Basingstoke, Ashford, St Peter’s and East Surrey hospitals.
The majority of referrals received are made directly from the head and neck cancer multidisciplinary team meeting which is held on a weekly basis.
GPs can also make referrals into this service.
Urgent inpatient referrals will typically be seen on the same day as the referral.