Sharing “Marty’s Journey” To Help Other Cancer Patients


If you’ve been following “Marty’s Journey” through the process of dealing with my head and neck cancer, you may already know what a special place the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic is and what it does for patients. If you haven’t, you need to check it out.


Marci Nilsen (RN/PhD) talks to Marty about difficulty swallowing and other issues at the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic during his first visit in February.

My first experience with the clinic was back in February as I struggled with swallowing issues and tightness in my neck following radiation treatment.

This week the folks who run the clinic are holding a two-day symposium for healthcare providers, cancer survivors, doctors, nurses and more. The goal is to improve care for cancer survivors beyond what they’re already doing in the clinic.


Marty and Kristine Griffin take part in a Q and A session about recovery after head and neck cancer.

Nurse Marci Nilsen, who started the clinic, sat down with me and my wife, Kristine, to talk about our experience.


The main mission of the clinic is to assess the patient’s overall health and individual recovery needs, and make recommendations to get back to a more normal life. The


UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic


gives patients the support they need in one place with only one co-pay.

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