Publications and Other Good Reads
If you are a reader, there are a number of informative books written in layman’s terms. Some are available on loan from the Patient and Family Resource Centre at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, AB. Others can be ordered through your local book store or read online.
Other publications that may be of interest include:
Eat Well – Stay Nourished: A Recipe and resource Guide for Coping with Eating Challenges, volumes one and two.
We Have Walked in Your Shoes: A Guide to Living with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer (available from Spohnc).
Every Bite Counts – High calorie and easy-to-swallow recipes for patients with Head and Neck Cancer (Alberta Health Services/ Cross Cancer Institute).
The Dysphagia Cookbook – Great Tasting and Nutritious Recipes for People with Swallowing Difficulties (Elayne Achilles,Ed.D.).
Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook –A complete guide to providing maximum nutrition and taste with minimum discomfort. Easy-to-follow recipes for people who have chewing and swallowing problems. (Sandra Woodruff, RD and Leah Gilbert-Henderson, PhD).
The Smoothies Bible (Pat Crocker).
Publications by Bernie Siegel, M.D. Bernie Siegel, M.D. is an internationally recognized expert in the field of cancer treatment and complementary, holistic medicine. This site (berniesiegelmd.com) features his blog, his works and other useful resource
Many have found value in connecting with others during their cancer journey and beyond. Here are some options that others have found useful.
U of A Head and Neck Support Group
This professionally facilitated group meets twice per month in Edmonton. Find out more by calling 780-407-2770/6318 or emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calgary Head and Neck Support Group
This professionally facilitated group meets in Calgary on the 2nd Monday of the month from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Email email@example.com.
Located in both Edmonton and Calgary, Wellspring facilities offers a range of supportive programs to cancer patients and their families. For Edmonton, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and in Calgary, contact https://wellspringcalgary.ca/.
CancerConnection (run by the Canadian Cancer Society)
Get in touch with someone who understands what you are going through by calling 1-888-939-3333.
Head and Neck Cancer Support Society
Members of our society can provide one-on-one peer support to those dealing with head and cancer. Please contact us by email via our website at head-way.org.
Supportive Care Products and Services
Depending on the specific type of head and neck cancer of interest, there are a number of products or services that may be useful. This is highly individual and often recommended by treating professionals. Here are some ideas and when in doubt, consult with the appropriate professional.
Eating and Swallowing
Professional staff at this specialized facility provide swallowing assessments and treatments. More information is available on their website email@example.com or by calling 780-735-2660.
University of Alberta Hospital ENT Clinic
Head and neck surgeons who provide care for head and neck cancer patients can be contacted at this clinic. For more information, call 780-407-8355
Cross Cancer Institute
Professional staff at this facility provide swallowing and nutrition treatments for cancer patients and can be contacted via the main switchboard at 780-432-8771.
For those who find dining out a lost pleasure, one Edmonton restaurant has responded to the need for easy to consume menu items. The Amber Café has modified its offerings and can be contacted as follows:
Address: 10166 114 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1R7
Order: ubereats.com, doordash.com
Phone: (780) 705-5144
U of a Dental Clinic
This clinic provides dental services for people with medical conditions, disabilities, hospital inpatients as well as the general public. For head and neck cancer patients, the clinic provides specialized dental care including access to fluoride dental trays and other products. For more information, contact 780-407-6854.
Professional staff at this specialized facility provide specialized dental and hygiene care often required by head and neck patients. More information is available on their website firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (780)735-2660.
Funding Possibility for Dental Care
Confronted with expensive dental care? Alberta Health’s OMDS Program may provide funding for some high-cost dental services required in conjunction with an oral surgical procedure insured under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. In order to qualify, the program recipients must require dental services in relation to severe oral/facial conditions caused by birth defects, jaw abnormalities (tumors), major facial trauma or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. A formal referral to the program by an Oral and Maxilliofacial Surgeon on behalf of the patient is required. Benefits are limited to payment for services such as orthodontics, prosthodontics, dental implants and presurgical work-up fees. The OMDS Program is the payer of last resort; all private dental insurance benefits must be utilized prior to funding being requested and an explanation of benefits must accompany the dental claim.
If you have any questions about the OMDS Program, please contact the Alberta Health Dental Program Coordinator at 780-415-1475. Inquiries can also be mailed to: OMDS Program Dental Program Coordinator Alberta Health PO Box 1360 Edmonton AB T5J 2N3. Your treating professional or hospital social worker may be able to provided assistance.
Useful Dry Mouth Products
There are numerous dry mouth products that are often recommended for use for those experiencing symptoms, including those with head and neck cancer. Some include:
- Biotene products including moisturizing mouthwash, mouth spray and oral balance gel.
- Sensodyne toothpaste and mouthwash for sensitivity relief.
- Remin, a fluoride free toothpaste.
- MI Paste, a topical paste with bio-available calcium and phosphate.
- XyliMelts, time release adhering tablets for dry mouth symptoms.
Most of these products are available at your local pharmacy but may be shelved separately from regular dental products. Some products are available from your dental specialist. As individual needs can vary, it is always best to consult with your treatment team.
Mental Health Resources
Addressing mental health issues can be an important aspect of cancer care and recovery. Resources and information are available in both northern and southern Alberta at:
Cross Cancer Institute Psychosocial Services (780-643-4303)
This department provides mental health support for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis and can link with community based mental health services. Information about community-based support services can also be obtained.
In Calgary, Tom Baker’s Psychosocial Oncology provides similar services and can be contacted at (403)-355-3207 (appointments / booking).
The Cross Cancer Institute provides individual and group programming to deal with symptoms of fatigue. Further information can be contacted via the main switchboard at (780) 432-8771.
Alberta Cancer Exercise (ACE)
ACE is a 5-year study evaluating the benefit of exercise in cancer patients. As of this fall, ACE programming will be available in Edmonton, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Grand Prairie. For more information, visit www.albertacancerexercise.com, or call (780) 492-6007 or 1-888-452-6875.
We welcome feedback from our members and others to add new information and ideas. Please the Contact Us link on the home page.
Head and Neck Cancer Support Society
P.O. Box 4773 Edmonton, Alberta T6E5G6
Head and Neck Cancer Support Society - By the Patients For the Patients. Supporting those affected by Head and Neck Cancer. -2018 Edmonton, AB, Canada