Soup for the Soul

Blacktown Hospital soul-warming staff speech pathologist Reggie Daguio, staff specialist Dr Puma Sundaresan, cancer care coordinator Colette Cole and dietitian Anneka Finn.

There’s nothing like a cup of warm soup to warm you up in winter, and that’s exactly what the Soup for the Soul team is hoping for today.

The Blacktown Cancer and Haematology Centre team is raising awareness for World Head and Neck Cancer Day with a hot soup stall in hospital street today.

Blacktown Hospital radiation oncology staff specialist Dr Puma Sundaresan said Soup for the Soul day is a great opportunity to reach out and educate people, because early diagnosis is key, and head and neck cancers when caught early are typically curable.

“We would love for everybody to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer, so if you have a sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal, a persistent sore throat or difficulty swallowing, or lump in your neck go and have it checked out by your local doctor or dentist and seek attention,” Dr Sundaresan said.

“The typical risk factors for head and neck cancer have been tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption but these days were are noting a very high increase in the types of head and neck cancers that are caused by the HPV or human papilloma virus.

“The good news is that it is highly preventable through the vaccination program that we have available here in Australia for all teenagers, boys and girls.

“If we can prevent the virus we can prevent the cancers caused by this virus.”

Thanks to Woolworths at Glenmore Park who donated 200 boxes of Cup-A-Soup and Bakers Delight at Pennant Hills for the bread rolls.

You can support Beyond Five – The Face of Head and Neck Cancer by supporting my Go Fundraise page at

Any contribution large or small is greatly appreciated!