UAB Medicine offers head and neck cancer support group

Members of the Head and Neck Oncology Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will offer several opportunities for head and neck cancer patients, survivors and family members to discuss problems for those affected.

“Support groups are so important for cancer patients because the physicians and caregivers can provide only a fraction of the support the patient needs,” said Allison Seamon, PA-C and lead advanced practice provider for the Department of Otolaryngology. “Having a network of people who either went through the same thing or are facing a similar diagnosis is a powerful motivator in the fight against cancer.”

Seamon says new cancer patients are often overwhelmed with lots of information and appointments in addition to a whirlwind of emotions.

“Emotional and financial support is really lacking for this particular group of cancer patients,” she said. “We are trying to provide a service that brings support to our patients and awareness to the general population.”

Head and neck cancers account for approximately 4 percent of all cancers in the United States. These cancers are more than twice as common among men as they are among women. Head and neck cancers are also diagnosed more often among people older than age 50 than they are among younger people.

Specialists from the Department of Otolaryngology, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryDivision of Radiation Oncology, and Division of Hematology and Oncology will be on hand to provide answers and support. Each support group meeting will focus on a different topic of discussion provided by UAB experts.

The event is held the third Thursday of every other month at 4 p.m. at 1824 Sixth Ave. South in Room NP2532. Free valet parking for attendees is available at the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center at 1700 Sixth Ave. S. The first meeting of the year is Thursday, Jan. 17. No RSVP is required.