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Why so many with throat cancer dread Christmas

Press release from Throat Cancer Foundation

26 November 2019 (Last updated: 27 Nov 2019 16:28)

‘Eat, drink and be merry,’ is the commandment that most people live by when it comes to Christmas.
However, for those living with throat cancer, it can be the most dreaded time of the year as what we all take for granted, such as eating and drinking at social events, has been cruelly taken away from them as a result of the gruelling cancer treatment and very often life changing side effects they are left to live with.
Those diagnosed and dealing with cancer of the throat, mouth or neck are presented with many challenges when it comes to facing Christmas dinner or social events during the festive period. 
They may have had their salivary glands destroyed as a result of the treatment.  Or part of their tongue, teeth or throat removed.  Maybe they had the ability to eat removed completely and have been fitted with a feeding peg instead.  They may be alive, but for some they are overwhelmed with feelings of, ‘what’s the point?’  What they once enjoyed before has now been taken away from them by a very cruel cancer.

The Throat Cancer Foundation has given tips to loved ones of throat cancer patients on how they can help support them during this difficult time of year. They are: 
-Ringing restaurants ahead to see if they can provide smaller portions or altered textured diet e.g. pureeing food
- Seeing what foods are available that are a consistency that they patient can manage e.g. trifle can be made with just jelly, custard and creams, offering mashed potato as well as roast, ensuring vegetables are well cooked and can be easily mashed
- Ensuring there is plenty of sauce to go with food e.g. gravy, custard, brandy butter, bread sauce (made need thinned out with extra milk/cream) etc
- Let the patient choose what they want from a variety of different of different foods at a Christmas rather than piling everything up on a plate to them
- Encourage the patient to go out and socialise and don’t add any pressure to eat and drink- remind the patients it’s about being with friends and family and not the eating and drinking. They want to spend time with the patient and are not worried if they eat or drink while they are with them. The patient may want to eat before they go out.

Please click here to see the press release article in full.