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Head and Neck Cancer Team

Patient information A-Z

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. You can find out more about this service on our patient information help page.

Who is in the team?

The team consists of:

  • three clinical oncologists
  • a clinical specialist nurse
  • a research nurse
  • healthcare assistants
  • nutrition and dietetics teams support
  • speech and language therapist specialist team support

We work closely with the ENT (ear nose and throat) surgeons and other specialist teams involved in diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancers.

What happens at the clinic?

The head and neck outpatient clinic is held in the oncology centre on a Wednesday afternoon, 12:30‑16:30pm. This is attended by all team members and may also include junior doctors as well as student nurses, doctors and dietitians. The clinic is for people with a new diagnosis, patients receiving treatment and patients who have completed treatment and are being followed up.

We encourage you to bring someone with you to the clinic as you may feel anxious or find that there is lots of information to understand. Please write down any questions you may have and bring them with you.

There is also a chemotherapy/ immunotherapy clinic that you may be required to attend. This appointment will be with the clinical specialist nurse; however, consultants will be available if required.

Our aim is to provide you with information about your condition and access to the best treatment for it. This may involve chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as other supportive measures that may be of benefit.

If you are having difficulty eating normally, think you have lost weight, or notice a change in your bowel habit please mention this to your doctor or nurse and we will ensure a member of the dietitian team contacts you.

Our hospital is a major cancer research centre involved in developing new treatments to improve outcomes, so you may be offered the opportunity to take part in a research study which may benefit you as well as future generations. Taking part in research is voluntary – a national audit in 2012 showed that most patients like to be asked to take part in research even if they don’t always take up the offer.

Who do I contact?

On visiting the clinic you will be given the name of the most appropriate person to contact if you have any queries. The choice of person will depend on what treatment is being offered. For example, if you are due to start chemotherapy, you will be given the contact details of the head and neck clinical nurse specialist, while patients taking part in a clinical trial will be given the contact details of our research nurses.

Specialist nurse 01223 217425

Bleep via Contact Centre 01223 245151; 159 430

Research nurse 01223 216083

Secretary 01223 274401

Oncology reception 01223 216551/ 216552

(Clinic appointment queries)

Oncology Day Unit 01223 217099

Radiotherapy reception 01223 216634

(Radiotherapy appointment queries)

Head and neck dietitians 01223 216655

The above telephone numbers are for non-urgent enquiries. Most telephones have an answering machine for non-urgent enquiries. Messages left are checked regularly throughout the day.

Please feel free to contact the specialist nurse (on the phone number above) if you have any questions relating to your diagnosis, treatment or any other issues of concern.

In an emergency and/or at weekends please contact the oncology 24hr helpline on 01223 274224

Follow up after completion of treatment

After your treatment has finished, you may continue to have regular check-ups in clinic. If you travel a long way, the check-up may be more appropriate at a hospital closer to your home. At follow‑up appointments you will be asked about your general health and wellbeing and if you have symptoms that you are concerned about. If you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments you must let us know as soon as possible; you don’t have to wait until your next appointment. The contact telephone numbers are detailed above.

When should I see my GP?

Your GP is in charge of your overall care. At each hospital clinic appointment a letter is written and sent to your GP so that they are fully informed of your progress. A copy of that letter will be provided for you, unless you do not wish to receive one (please tell your doctor or nurse if this is the case).

Please seek advice from your GP for all aspects of your care other than those directly related to your cancer. If the GP is concerned about your symptoms, they can contact us for further advice.

Please remember, if you have any worries/ concerns about your cancer, we recommend that you phone us first to seek advice or support.

Privacy & dignity

Same sex bays and bathrooms are offered in all wards except critical care and theatre recovery areas where the use of high-tech equipment and/or specialist one-to-one care is required.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151