Why the name?

When doctors talk about curing cancer they talk in terms of 5-year survival. However, in patients with head and neck cancer the effects of the cancer and their treatment stay with the patient forever. These effects can be seen as scars on the patient’s face that cannot be hidden by clothing, or difficulties with speech and swallowing.

Head and neck cancer can affect your identity unlike any other cancer. It’s a cancer that you see in the mirror. It’s a cancer that you see in the behaviour of the person sitting next to you on the bus. While many people survive the disease, the cancer can strip away a person's voice, distort their face and take away basic abilities such as eating, drinking and swallowing.

The name 'Beyond Five' refers to the long-term support that patients with different types of head and neck cancer often need, which is more than five years after they are diagnosed.