Man diagnosed with neck cancer after seeing his dentist for a tooth infection

Steve Kibble

By Abby Ruston & Lorraine King, Mirror, 6 January 2020

A man told by his doctor he had a tooth infection found out he actually had neck cancer after visiting his dentist.

Steve Kibble initially went to see his GP after he found a lump on the left hand side of his neck.

His doctor thought it was a tooth infection and prescribed him antibiotics, as well as advising him to see his dentist, Grimsby Live reports.

However, Steve’s dentist spotted that he had a “flappy bit of flesh” at the back of his throat when he removed two of his teeth and advised him to go straight to hospital.

Steve went to Grimsby Hospital where they did a biopsy that confirmed that he had cancer.

He subsequently had an operation to remove the left-hand side of his neck followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Steve is now in remission but unable to eat solid foods.

However, the 70-year-old former patient has now spoken about the benefits of attending a local head and neck cancer support group, set up by staff at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLAG), to help patients who are living with or in recovery from head and neck cancer.

The groups in Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe meet once a month and have different speakers who offer advice such as how to get fit, improve lifestyles and highlighting other support services available in the local area.

They are run by head and neck cancer patients and their close friends and family with the support of the clinical nurse specialist team from the hospital.

Steve has been attending the head and neck support group in Cleethorpes for a year after his nutritionist introduced him to it.

He said: “Having cancer has a very nasty after effect and it is just nice to get together with like-minded people.

“Psychologically it has affected me as well. It is a very traumatic thing to have.”

Hazel Walker, Macmillan head and neck clinical nurse specialist, runs the patient support group in Cleethorpes which was launched in October 2018.

Hazel said: “We want to increase awareness of this extra support and increase the awareness of head and neck cancers.

“We are a support group for head and neck patients, their families and carers in the local area. We provide support to patients and their families from diagnosis to living with and beyond cancer.

“We are a friendly group that meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Community Room in Tesco, Hewitt’s Circus, Cleethorpes.”

Deborah Tindall, head and neck stoma specialist nurse, said: “Our local support group in Scunthorpe is on the second Tuesday of the month.

“We hold it in the community room at the Asda superstore on Burringham Road from 10am until 12 noon. It’s open to patients, family and carers who have had a diagnosis of cancer and we offer a supportive environment.”

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