HNCA News Bulletin

November 2020

April 11-17, 2021

HNCA is hosting its 23rd annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) April 11-17, 2021. For more than two decades, HNCA has worked with partners around the world to raise awareness and save lives by hosting community health screenings to promote early detection.

Hosting Head and Neck Cancer Screenings During the Covid-19 Pandemic

We understand many sites may have challenges with hosting a screening event in the early part of 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, so we are encouraging sites to: 

  • Work with their respective institutions’ public health teams to determine the appropriate timing and venue to optimize the safety of your head and neck cancer screening event.
  • Plan for a screening in the latter part of 2021 when a vaccine is available. HNCA is pleased to offer the same educational and promotional support—free of charge—for all screenings offered in 2021.
  • Share this email with dental offices in your local community, who are currently seeing patients, and can serve as the first line of defense in detecting head and neck cancer.

Our partners can also get involved in other ways, such as participating in our online awareness-raising campaign, hosting a virtual educational activity, or sharing OHANCAW print and digital materials in their waiting and exam rooms.

More information will be shared later about these and other activities for Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week 2021!


Head and Neck Cancer Peer-to-Peer Support Program Seeks Nasopharyngeal Survivors  

HNCA, in partnership with Imerman Angels (IA), recently launched its Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program. Through a unique matching process, HNCA and IA will connect head and neck cancer patients and/or their caregivers to Mentor Angels, who shares a similar cancer journey and can provide one-on-one emotional support and compassion.

Our initial outreach to recruit Mentor Angels was unprecedented with more than 90 survivors enthusiastically registering to assist head and neck cancer patients and their caregivers. 

We currently have an urgent need for survivors of nasopharyngeal cancer to support patients with the same diagnosis. If you are a nasopharyngeal cancer survivor and would like to register to be a mentor, please click the button below.

Note: The service is free and helps everyone touched by cancer. All Mentor Angels are properly screened and trained. We ask that you only register yourself.  

This program is made possible through a partnership between
Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and Imerman Angels.


Upcoming Webinars

Integrative Medicine Webinar

Presented in conjunction with HNCA's SC Chapter

December 9, 2020  |  6:00 pm Eastern


Medical Speaker:  Chasse Bailey-Dorton, MD, MSPH, FAAFP
Chief, Section of Integrative Oncology
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Levine Cancer Institute - Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
Cancer Survivor


Intimacy in the HPV Head and Neck Cancer Population

Presented in conjunction with the American Head and Neck Society

January 26, 2021  |  4:00 pm Eastern


Registration will open soon!


Rakuten Medical, Inc. is an early-stage global biotechnology company developing precision, cell-targeting investigational therapies on its IlluminoxTM technology platform – with current active trials for eligible head and neck cancer patients. For more information, visit

ASP-1929 is an investigational study drug that may eventually be used to treat patients with head and neck cancer when used in combination with an experimental device used to light illuminate the targeted tumor(s) that may lead to cell death of the cancerous cells.

Who is eligible?

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Diagnosed with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with known PD-L1 expression
  • Your disease is not amenable to definitive surgery or radiation
  • Willing to comply with study requirements, procedures and follow-up planned in the study protocol.

For more information, you can find ASP-1929 trial information here or reach out to for eligibility.

*Sponsor content. Learn HNCA’s stance on corporate support below.


Thank You to Our Smash Cancer Event Organizers and Participants

Smash Cancer is an annual fundraiser started by The Howard Family, who lost both of their parents to head and neck cancer. 2020 marked the 11th annual tournament! Thank you to all of the sponsors and participants for their amazing and ongoing support. This year, we extend an extra special thank you to tournament organizer Christine Tatum,  and her team in Wilmington, NC, for their flexibility, dedication, and persistence in ensuring the tournament could move forward despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its inception, Smash Cancer has donated over $100,000 to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. These funds directly support our Gas Card Program, which provides gasoline gift cards to help head and neck cancer patients get to and from treatments. The Gas Card Program supports hundreds of patients each year, and we couldn’t do it without the wonderful support of Smash Cancer.


Your Cancer Story – Online Support for Survivors and Caregivers

As we near the holiday season and the end of a difficult year, Head and Neck Cancer Alliance is proud to continue partnering with Merck on Your Cancer Story, an online support resource for those dealing with cancer. The platform features informational resources and heartfelt stories of hope and strength from head and neck cancer survivors and caregivers as they navigate the cancer journey from diagnosis to survivorship. This December, Your Cancer Story will also feature an original podcast series exploring the triumphs and challenges many survivors face – a poignant reminder that no one has to experience cancer alone, especially right now. 

Visit to find inspiring stories and support to help you feel your best, inside and out.


Spotlight on Naveris

There’s a blood test that can let you know if you are free of detectable cancer. NavDx may be right for you if you have been diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer; have been diagnosed and treated for an HPV-related cancer; or are in remission after being treated for an HPV-related cancer.


Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Study with Global Perspective

A study on recurrent or metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (head and neck cancer) is being conducted with adults in the US. The study consists of a 90-minute telephone/Skype interview, and in appreciation for your time, you will be compensated with $150, plus $25 for providing the research team with a confirmation of your diagnosis from your doctor. Based on your preference, the interview can be conducted as two 45-minute interviews or a series of shorter interviews. During the interview, you will be asked about your experience of living with the cancer in relation to the symptoms you experience and how it impacts your life. You will also be asked to complete some questionnaires and asked questions about them.

The study is completely voluntary and complies with all relevant laws protecting your personal data with respect to anonymity, confidentiality, and ethical practice research.
If you would like to take part in this study, please send an email to


The Newly Expanded HNCA Online Recipe Box

HNCA is pleased to share the newly expanded online recipe box! The recipe box now has over 15 new recipes that range from soups to shakes and more that you can try at home. Thank you Terri H., Thad L., Lisa K.,  Tom H., Elizabeth L., Jared K., Morgan S.,  Loanne C., Viviane L.,  Anna T., Monique M., Stephen M., Andrea P., Swati K., and Lori M. who submitted a recipe to share with head and neck cancer patients and survivors. Many of the recipe creators also briefly shared how cancer impacted their lives and the nutritional benefits of their recipe for people with cancer. 



*Sponsor content. Learn HNCA’s stance on corporate support below.


Oral Health for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Webinar
Recording is Now Available Online

Thank you to everyone who attended the Oral Health for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors webinar earlier this month. The recording is now available on YouTube.

The recording and more information about the medical speaker and HNCA board member, Joel Epstein, DMD, MSD, survivor speaker, Ms. Carolyn Dee the moderator and HNCA President of the board, Michael Moore, MD, FACS can be found on our website.

The Q & A from the webinar will be available on our website at a later date.


Graduate Student Project on Oral Care Education for HNC Patients

A graduate student research study seeks to understand oral care routines (e.g., brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, etc.) of head and neck cancer patients and how information about oral care has been provided by your healthcare team after you were diagnosed with cancer.

To participate, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer
  • Have completed radiation therapy within the past 12 months

Participants will be asked to complete an online research survey that is estimated to take between 20-30 minutes to complete.

The survey can be taken online at

A paper copy of the survey is also available upon request if paper is preferred.

If you’re interested in participating or learning more about this study, please contact Lynne Barcus, M.S., CCC-SLP,, 217-549-0407.


*Sponsor content. Learn HNCA’s stance on corporate support below.


*Statement on Sponsor Content and Corporate Support: The information published on this website and in our materials is intended to educate you about Oral, Head and Neck Cancer. The content is not intended to take the place of a discussion with a qualified physician who is familiar with your medical situation. It is important to remember that each individual is different, and the reasons for—and outcomes of—any treatment plan depends on the patient's individual condition. If you have questions or concerns after reading any information on this website or in our materials, you should discuss them openly and honestly with your physician. Any products and manufacturers included on this site are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by HNCA. The content provided by HNCA is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. HNCA encourages those using its resources to be careful when evaluating medical information or products. If you are unsure about your medical condition, consult a physician. Funding from our corporate partners supports HNCA’s programs and educational initiatives, and HNCA maintains independence in its design of programs, content, and initiatives.


Thank You to our Corporate and Community Partners

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Head and Neck Cancer Alliance
PO BOX 21688  | Charleston, South Carolina 29413
866-792-4622 |

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