Throat Cancer Survivor Urges People To Consider Clinical Trials

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Ken Hook, a cancer survivor from Waterlooville, is encouraging people to consider taking part in clinic trials after undergoing treatment that saved his jaw.

Mr Hook was diagnosed with throat and nasal cancer in 2000 and underwent treatment, including surgery to remove the tumour and chemotherapy; after treatment, his jaw was very weak and susceptible to damage and doctors warned him that trauma could result in him losing his lower jaw.

Last year, Mr Hook was told that he needed a tooth taking out during a routine dental check-up and he was referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial Department, where doctors informed him of a new clinical trial where patients receive oxygen to help produce red blood cells and lower the risk of damage and injury to the jaw. Mr Hook agreed to take part in the trial, which involved sitting in an oxygen chamber for 2 hours; on total, there were 20 sessions.

After Mr Hook had his tooth extracted, he had more treatment and since the hyperbaric oxygen therapy, he has not experienced any problems.

Peter Brennan, consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon, explained that the jaw is susceptible to damage following radiotherapy because it holds the teeth; once the blood supply is reduced, the risk of trauma, infection and decay is increased.

The trial, which is entitled, ‘Hyperbaric Oxygen to Prevent Osteoradio Necrosis’ is being run by the University of Liverpool.

Mr Hook is now encouraging others to take part in clinic trials as part of the ‘It’s Okay to Ask’ campaign.

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