Whether they’re working as a dentist at Affordable Dental Solutions Limerick or as a general practitioner in Wales, a doctor would prefer to not have to deliver bad news to their patients, though they will if the need arises.
That was the case with Steve Kibble, a 70-year old man in Grimsby who initially went to his GP after he discovered a lump on the left side of his neck. His doctor, thinking it was caused by a tooth infection, gave him prescriptions for antibiotics, then advised him to go visit his dentist.
Mr. Kibble’s dentist then reported that he had a bit of flappy flesh at the back of his throat, which was spotted while two of his teeth were being removed by the dentist. Said dentist then, in turn, advised him to go to the nearest hospital.
Mr. Kibble went to Grimsby Hospital, where he underwent a biopsy to confirm that he had cancer.
The hospital was able to act fast, and Mr. Kibble was immediately scheduled for an operation which removed the lump on the left-hand side of his neck, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Thanks to the dentist’s advice, Mr. Kibble is safe in remission, but unable to ingest any solid food.
The former patient has been part of a local head and neck cancer support group, set up by people from the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG), and aimed at helping people who are dealing with or recovering from head and neck cancer.
He’s been attending the support group for at least one year, following his nutritionist introducing him to it. Mr. Kibble says that having cancer leaves its mark on someone, and it helps a great deal to meet people with similar ideas and experiences.
Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist at Macmillan, Hazel Walker, is in charge of the support group, which was founded in October 2018.
Hazel says that the goal of the group is to avoid similar cases, where people like dentists at Affordable Dental Solutions Limerick run into startling diagnoses because people are unaware of symptoms; unaware of the real dangers of head and neck cancers.