University of Liverpool and NHS Trust’s new study, gives high praise and recommendations for Throat Cancer Foundation’s HPV booklets

The Throat Cancer Foundation (TCF) has received positive feedback and recommendations for its ‘HPV and Throat Cancer’ information booklets from various NHS trusts, regarding how they are currently utilised, a new study commissioned by the University of Liverpool reveals.  The academic paper, entitled, “Are UK healthcare professionals equipped to provide information and support on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) to patients diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck?”, identified TCF as a trusted source and guide for both patients and medical professionals dealing with HPV related head and neck (throat) cancers.

Since 2018, TCF has distributed directly to NHS trusts delivering head and neck cancer services, two peer reviewed booklets dealing with HPV and throat cancer.  The first, for patients who had specific questions around their treatment, HPV generally, its relation to their cancer, what their options were, and the impact on various aspects of their lives and relationships.  The second, for medical professionals, identified specific key areas that they felt they needed more information about so they could explain these better to patients, which included the emotional impact of an HPV related diagnosis on a patient and their partner.

The study, carried out by Rebecca Jopson, Therapeutic radiographer at Rosemere Cancer Centre, Royal Preston Hospital of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust and Jenny Callender, Lecturer on the Radiotherapy Programme at the University of Liverpool, was delivered via an online survey was carried out, through the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO) to several NHS trusts dealing with delivery of head and neck cancer services.

Within its findings the results of the study showed that many of the respondents had been using specifically the TCF booklets, “…The most common identified method for providing patients with information about HPV was face to face.  Patient information booklets were available in centres of 12 participants, with 11 of those booklets being specific to HPV.   The majority were utilising the information produced by The Throat Cancer Foundation….”

Overall, the aim of the study was to identify, firstly what HPV information was available to both patients and medical professionals, how it was delivered and discussed with patients by their clinical treatment teams as well as recommending a standardisation of the education and delivery processes for all NHS trusts dealing with head and neck cancers.

Jamie Rae, CEO and founder of TCF welcomed the findings in the study, stating, “We are delighted that both our booklets have had such a positive response both from patients and medical professionals.

I myself was diagnosed with an HPV related throat cancer in 2012 and at the time found the lack of resources and indeed lack of understanding of the medical professionals of how to answer my questions both frustrating and distressing.  It was one of the factors that drove me to set up TCF.

We ourselves, before we published them, worked with several NHS trusts to help us build and create the booklets, so to have this new study prove that they have been positively received and being utilised so effectively is very encouraging.

We hope and believe that as a foundation we have a very real opportunity to work more closely with the NHS in helping to contribute to improve the delivery of head and neck cancers services where dealing with cancers caused by HPV.”

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