A Better You Counseling Services, LLC
1225 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 170
Marietta, Georgia 30068
404-216-1135
SLasumaa@ABYcounseling.com
A Better You Counseling Services, LLC
Why a section on Head and Neck Cancer?

In April of 2017 I felt a lump on my neck while I was in session with a patient. In May of 2017, after many different tests and doctor appointments, I was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. Specifically, squamous cell carcinoma positive for HPV 16. I actually learned about the HPV about a month after i was diagnosed with cancer. How crazy is that? I knew I had cancer before I knew I had HPV! What I've learned about HPV and head and neck cancer is what's inspired this page. Here's some highlights:

*HPV is an epidemic. We all seem to have some form of it. There are many varieties, but not all can cause cancer.
* There's no screening for men
*There's only cervical screening for women
*There's no complete oral screening for anyone. My dentist offers a mouth screening, but they can't see the base of your tongue with it where the tumors like to hide and can be undetectable. This would have done me no good. My original tumor was never found- only the lump I found myself
* Here's the GOOD NEWS! HPV cancers are much more easily treated/killed/cured with chemo and radiation and have a much higher survival rate! Because of this, if I was diagnosed today I would be considered stage 1, not stage 4. Yes, even if it's in your lymph nodes.
*There's a lot of shame around this kind of cancer. I'm here to tell you to stop that! Like I said before, we all have it, it's just a matter of which one and you probably don't even know it. It is transmitted not just through sex, but simply by kissing someone.

This page is still a work in progress, so check back for tips for those that have been diagnosed and also for friends and family and how you can be supportive.