Head & Neck Cancer Alliance, in collaboration with the American Head & Neck Society, hosted a 2020 Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship webinar series once a week from July to August for a total of five sessions. The pre-recorded portion of the five webinars are now available online.
Expected Life Changes After Diagnosis with Head and Neck Cancer and Therapy
Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing
Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine
Director of Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship,
University of Pittsburgh
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Marci Lee Nilsen, PhD, RN, CHPN is an Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, Department of Acute and Tertiary Care with a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology. Her program of research focuses on the identification and management of symptoms and treatment-related effects in head and neck cancer survivors through the development of interventions targeted to meet the unique needs this patient group. She serves as the Co-Director of the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship clinic, which takes a multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach to addressing the needs of head and neck cancer survivors. She also serves as the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship for UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
Lyn is the first in her family to say, “I have cancer”. As a cancer survivor, she is thankful to many, especially the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, family, faith, friends and PEO sisters.
Squamous cell cancer infiltrated her right mandible, and in March 2019, Lyndal underwent a mandibulectomy, bilateral neck dissection, and fibular free flap, and then 30 radiation treatments. To add to her challenges, in Jan 2020, she had additional surgery to excise her right retromolar trigone and buccal surface with the buccal surface containing a new cancer site.
Born in Iowa, a twin, Lyndal was raised in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Missouri in Occupational Therapy, she has worked in Chicago and Ohio before moving to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Since 2005 she has worked at Vantage Therapy, and is certified in Lymphedema therapy, which has enriched her work career multiple fold.
Lyndal has three wonderful adult children and a partner, Tom, who have all helped her and are still helping her to move forward. Lyndal is ready to move forward... again... but still needs to heal from fibrotic radiation syndrome.
Caring for Your Lymphatic System
Jacki was born and raised in Iowa, spent much of her adult life in California and now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband Tony. After starting her career as a high school English teacher and drama coach, she eventually moved into the medical field and spent over 25 years in healthcare sales and marketing.
First diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in 2015, Jacki is now a stage IV cancer survivor; she has been treated at MD Anderson in Houston since 2017. She became an Ambassador for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance in 2019. Jacki is also a Senior Consultant with Beautycounter, a company dedicated to safer personal care products and much needed reform in the cosmetics industry.
Stretching, Strengthening and Posture:
Critical Elements of Self-Care for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hematology/Oncology Junior Faculty Membership Programs
Director of Pain and Symptom Management Oncology Services
Vanderbilt - Ingram Cancer Center
Dr. Murphy is a medical oncologist who specializes in head and neck cancer as well as in pain and symptom management control. Her clinical interests for head and neck cancer include identifying new and more effective treatments. Dr. Murphy recently developed a new Pain & Symptom Management Program dedicated to providing patients with a comprehensive and integrative approach to their health care. She works with a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals to address specific problems facing cancer patients and their families and to ensure a coordinated plan of care. The program is committed to improving the quality of life of patients and families by helping to identify and resolve physical, emotional and spiritual issues.
Dawn has spent the majority of her life living in White House, Tennessee with the exception of living near Savannah, Georgia in addition to three years in Germany. She has worked for the State of Tennessee for more than 29 years, the majority of her career with the Tennessee Department of Health, and most recently as a Public Program Director. She currently works as a Human Resource Manager in the Division of TennCare. Diagnosed with neck cancer in June 2014, she began chemotherapy in July which was followed by 33 days of Radiation/chemotherapy in October. She underwent surgery in December and her recovery spanned most of 2015. She is extremely grateful to be a cancer survivor.
Psychological Issues in the Survivorship Period:
Strategies for Recognizing and Changing Negative Thinking
Director of Head and Neck Outcomes Research Program,
School of Medicine, University of Louisville
Dr. Liz Cash is a Clinical Health Psychologist and Director of Research for the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. As part of the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team at her institution, Dr. Cash offers patients supportive psychological services, consults with the team of physicians as they consider social aspects in their treatment decisions, and acts as liaison to ensure patients receive supportive services. In her research, Dr. Cash investigates the effects of factor such as anxiety and depression, sleep disruption, and stress response systems on biomarkers of tumor progression, response to treatment, and prognosis among patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer.
David Neu is the CEO of Ananda Health. Mr. Neu is a member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Advisory Council and Co-Founder of the Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship at SKCC. He also serves as chair of the executive committee at the USC School of Pharmacy and is a patient advocate on the PULA board for the National Cancer Institute. In 2010, David and his wife, Esperanza, co-founded the Neu Family Foundation to support causes related to health and education to include establishing scholarships for students in need. In the last three years, together they were recognized as Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Philadelphia and were the recipients of Jefferson Health’s Presidents Award.
Becoming A Survivor Champion
Cherie-Ann Nathan, MD, FACS is Professor and Chairman of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at LSU Health Shreveport, and Director of Head and Neck Surgery and Research at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. In addition to a busy clinical practice, she has an active translational research program in molecular targeted therapy for head and neck cancer, and more recently in chemoprevention with nutraceuticals. Both of these programs are NIH funded and have moved forward from the bench to clinical trials. Dr. Nathan serves on the NCI task force for previously untreated locally advanced head and neck cancer and on the NCI Steering committee. Since 1996, Dr. Nathan has been actively involved in the free screenings and education for head and neck cancer.
Jim Kelly is a three-time head and neck cancer survivor and a Pro Football Hall of Famer. He led his team to six AFC East Championships and four consecutive championship appearances and holds the all-time professional football record for most yards gained per completion in a single game. Jim founded the Hunter’s Hope Foundation in 1997 following his son’s Krabbe disease diagnosis, which took his life in 2005. He was first diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in 2013 and has been a Your Cancer Story spokesperson since 2017.
Rob Paulsen is the voice of Pinky from “Pinky and the Brain,” Yakko from “Animaniacs,” Raphael (and Donatello) from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and Carl Wheezer from “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.” He has an Emmy, Annie and Peabody Award. In total, Paulsen has been the voice of over 250 different animated characters and performed in over 1000 commercials. “Animaniacs,” the popular 90s cartoon series, returns to Hulu later this year with Rob reprising his original role.
Ironically, a man who uses his voice for work found himself with throat cancer (now recovered.) He has been named the 2020 Spokesperson for The HNCA’s (Head and Neck Cancer Alliance) Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Program. Rob’s memoir Voice Lessons was released by Viva Editions in 2019.
Jason is co-founder and President of Ashar Group, LLC, a privately held, nationally licensed firm specializing in the secondary market for life insurance. He is a stage 4 HPV-related oral cancer survivor and serves as the co-chair for the Patient Education Committee for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. Jason was first diagnosed back in May 2014 and shortly thereafter had a radical tonsillectomy, neck dissection (42 lymph nodes removed) followed by seven weeks of chemo, radiation and a feeding tube. He made the decision to share his cancer story publicly so that others could learn about HPV-related oral cancer, oral cancer screenings, including the HPV vaccine. He created a website, www.SupermanHPV.com to inspire, educate and encourage others diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Jason is passionate about oral cancer awareness and hopes to eliminate HPV-related oral cancer for future generations.
Gail, a retired psychotherapist, resides in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. In 2018, at the age of 62, she was diagnosed with HPV-attributed squamous cell cancer on her left tonsil. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor and 42 lymph nodes, and then skin graft was performed to act as a ‘flap” to cover the opening that was now inside her mouth. Gail then went for six weeks of daily proton radiation.
Her last scan was good, and Gail continues to be grateful and prayerful for continued good news. In 2019, she retired and is enjoying some of her favorite pastimes: reading, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
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