Friday 7th September 2012
More than 100 people who had undergone a laryngectomy met with professionals near Cambridge earlier this year for the area’s first laryngectomy conference.
The aim of the day was to discuss treatment and survivorship issues and to enable attendees to share their own experiences following this life-changing surgery. Relatives, friends and carers also attended.
The event had originally been the idea of Barbara Blagnys, former Speech and Language Therapist at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and came together after 10 months of careful planning.
The morning included presentations about swimming after laryngectomy, physiotherapy for laryngectomees and the future of laryngeal cancer treatment. These proved to be thought-provoking, inspiring and generated lots of discussion and questions for the speakers.
Lunch and refreshments were provided and there was time for the attendees to browse the stalls, which included stands from over 15 companies and charities involved in laryngectomy care.
Discussion tables were set up in the afternoon to allow for smaller, group sessions on topics such as nutrition, voice prostheses and communication. Delegates chatted, shared experiences and stories, and the feedback from the attendees was very positive.
The event was made possible by a grant from Macmillan and through sponsorship from companies involved in health and laryngectomy care. We hope the conference will become an annual event and we have already received suggestions for future topics and speakers.
Contact Sarah Pilsworth, Macmillan Senior Specialist SLT (H&N/ENT) at Addenbrooke's Hospital on 01223 216 200.
On Learn Zone there are two videos (aimed at professionals) about living with a laryngectomy, including the communication issues that can result. Watch the videos.