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Head and Neck Cancer: Local education and support group open to patients & family

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local man who spends time between Ohio and DC said he was staying in Ohio during the busy week in Washington.

But that didn't mean he didn't have an important message to share. He had quite a story of cancer survival.

Every month a special group meets at the Barrett Cancer Center at UC Health to share support for those living with a kind of cancer that can impact everything from how people talk to how they look. Recently the group got a new member who might have otherwise been in Washington DC. His story, and others who were with him, will inspire people to not take for granted anything people want to say.

For eight months Chris Colwell was fighting to raise awareness of a kind of cancer he said many people heard very little about, "When I told people I had head and neck cancer, the responses I got were, 'I didn't know you could have oral cancer.'"

Now, along with this team of survivors, social workers, physicians and caregivers, Chris wants to take the battle not just to Capitol Hill, but to any hill that will listen. The money would help raise awareness of the cancer and help learn new ways to prevent it.

Dr. Yash Patil, head and neck cancer surgeon, said, "There are actually some cancers of the head and neck that are on the increase. And we don't know why that is, the human papillomavirus is very related to these cancers and we hope that the vaccination policy in this country will have a change in this rise."

The next group will happen Thursday evening, January 19, at 6 p.m. if people would like to attend.

CLICK HERE for more information. It is free and people do not have to be a patient at the Barrett Center.

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