Teresa’s journey with the RMH’s Head and Neck cancer team

Meet Teresa: a mother of two and former accountant turned massage therapist, whose journey at RMH began just under a year ago.

"I noticed an ulcer that wouldn’t heal. By July, I was in Japan with my kids, in constant pain and with an earache. I wasn’t my usual joyful self."

After a late July biopsy, Teresa received a cancer diagnosis and was scheduled in for surgery at the RMH.

Before undergoing surgery, to remove a quarter of her tongue and a tracheostomy to prevent its spread, Teresa describes the level of support and preparation at RMH.

"In just 15 minutes of the initial multi-disciplinary routine meeting, there were close to 20 specialists from various teams across the RMH were by my side. From oral maxillofacial experts, speech therapists, dietitians to psychologists, it was intense, but I felt reassured.”

Female oral cancer rates have increased by 385% over the past 30 years.

The underlying factors that increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer are still unknown, highlighting the need for further research.

"It’s a cancer that affects women from all walks of life, backgrounds, and cultures. It’s crucial to recognise that anyone can get head and neck cancer."

Grateful for her care at RMH, Teresa has joined the RMH Head and Neck's Dry July team, raising awareness of the hospital's excellence in treating head and neck cancers.

“This campaign is so important because if it can allocate funding to research and support of head and neck patients. Whether its helping someone who is newly diagnosed, a patient in the middle of treatment or someone in the post-operative phase, every contribution matters.”

Help us continue this amazing work. Sign up or donate to Dry July and support patients like Teresa.

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