Support Group Offers Resources for Patients with Oral/Head and Neck Cancer

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I am the Outreach Administrator/Newsletter Editor at Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC). SPOHNC is a national nonprofit organization involved in the development of support programs. As such, it can have an enormous positive impact on meeting the psychosocial needs of patients as well as preserving, restoring, and promoting physical and emotional health.

SPOHNC is dedicated to raising awareness and meeting the needs of oral and head and neck cancer patients. We do this through more than 125 SPOHNC Chapter support groups in 39 states across the country, as well as our National Survivor Volunteer Network; a survivor-to-patient matching program; our monthly newsletter, News from SPOHNC; two volumes of our cookbook and resource guide, Eat Well, Stay Nourished; our Meeting the Challenges of Oral and Head and Neck Cancer—A Survivors Guide; and We Have Walked In Your Shoes, A Guide to Living with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer. Information, resources and links concerning oral/head and neck cancer and its diagnosis, treatment, and side effects can be found on our website at You can also find us on Facebook.

A member of our Medical Advisory Board forwarded us a link to an article published in the June 10 issue of The ASCO Post (“Coping with Tongue Cancer: A Lonely Journey,” by Betsy Keller, as told to Jo Cavallo). It’s a shame that Betsy Keller was not aware of our organization, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, helping patients, survivors, caregivers, and family as they endure their cancer journey, through treatment and beyond. SPOHNC was started 20 years ago by Nancy Leupold, an oral cancer survivor, when she found that there was no support and very little information for patients who have been diagnosed with oral and head and neck cancer. 

We have much to offer, and we’re here to fill the need that Ms. Keller spoke of in her editorial piece. In Florida alone, we have 10 SPOHNC Chapter support groups, and there is one in the Boca Raton area. 

We encourage your readers to share information about SPOHNC with their patients and their colleagues.  Visit our website at, and contact us at 1-800-377-0928 or ■

—Chris Leonardis
Outreach Administrator
Support for People with Oral and
Head and Neck Cancer
Locust Valley, New York