Make sense campaign: head and neck cancer week

Persistent hoarseness, swelling in the neck and sore throat. A selection of the symptoms associated with head and neck cancer. The ETZ will pay attention to this disease during the European Week for Head and Neck Cancer (19 to 23 September). Head and neck cancer is in the top ten of most common cancers. However, the disease is still relatively unknown.

Head and neck cancer is a severe form of cancer. Patients have a tough trajectory. Depending on the tumor type, they receive a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It is also intense because they are small tumors with major consequences. Think of problems with speaking, swallowing, not being able to taste and smell well and sex. These are tumors in the head and neck area, such as lip cancer, pharyngeal cancer and cancer in the neck lymph nodes.

More awareness about head and neck cancer

The number of head and neck cancer patients is increasing. The disease is the sixth most common cancer in Europe. More and more patients are added. However, the disease is still unknown. This ensures that the diagnosis is made late in 60% of patients. These patients are already very ill. If head and neck cancer is detected early, the chance of survival is 80 to 90%. It is therefore very important to raise awareness of head and neck cancer.

Make sense campaign

The Make Sense Campaign is an initiative of the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS). This campaign wants people to be more aware of head and neck cancer, to recognize symptoms of this cancer faster and therefore to see a doctor sooner. Only then do patients have a greater chance of surviving with a higher quality of life.


When is it important to go to the doctor? The main complaints, especially if you have been suffering from it for more than three weeks, are non-healing sores in the mouth/throat/lip, swelling in the neck, hoarseness, vomiting of blood, pain when swallowing and sore throat, and unexplained earaches.

Treatment center

The ETZ is a regional treatment center for patients with head and neck cancer. For this treatment, the hospital works together with the Verbeeten Institute and the Erasmus MC. Every year 150 new patients with a head and neck tumor are treated in the ETZ.

According to the Care Register of the Top Clinical Hospitals Foundation (STZ), the ETZ offers top clinical care to patients with tumors in the head and neck area. This makes the hospital the first top clinical hospital in the Netherlands to be recognized for the treatment of this form of cancer. Head and neck cancer patients from across the region are treated in the ETZ. To this end, the hospital works closely with Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and the Verbeeten Institute, where patients are irradiated.

Attention for head and neck cancer

This week we pay attention to the week of head and neck cancer on social media. More information can be found at

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