Waltzing with Jack Dancer - a slow dance with cancer

Geoff GoodfellowGeoff Goodfellow is a renowned Adelaide poet who has battled Head and Neck Cancer. Photographer Randy Larcombe worked with Geoff Goodfellow to compile an exhibition of poetry and graphic photographs depicting his cancer journey.

The 'Waltzing with Jack Dancer' Exhibition was officially opened on 29 May 2009 at the Grenfell Centre, Adelaide, by Hon Justice Christopher Kourakis after an introduction by Ashleigh Moore, Chair of Cancer Voices SA and himself a Head and Neck Cancer survivor.


NOW! The poems and photographs are now a book: Waltzing with Jack Dancer - a slow dance with cancer (purchase online at www.wakefieldpress.com.au)

Revisit this amazing exhibition of poetry and photography ONLINE at Randy Larcombe PhotographerRandy Larcombe Photographer, stories, jack dancer.

Geoff hopes to raise awareness in the community of the realities of cancer and treatment.

An interview and video preview to the Exhibition can be seen on the ABC TV program StatelineABC TV program Stateline, and read the article 'Going the distance/ No surrenderGoing the distance/ No surrender' in the Adelaide Advertiser Weekend magazine.

Photos (Left to right): 1 Ashleigh Moore, Geoff Goodfellow & Randy Larcombe at the 'Waltzing with Jack Dancer' exhibition launch in 2009.  
2. Geoff Goodfellow reading his poem 'The Seventh Doctor' 
3. Randy Larcombe (photographer and friend of Geoff Goodfellow).
4. Ashleigh Moore, Cancer Voices South Australia, and fellow Head & Neck cancer survivor, speaking at the launch of the exhibition. 

Double TakeDouble Take Geoff (58yrs) and his daughter Grace (16 yrs). Geoff: I wanted to provide Grace with opportunities I didn’t have. One thing I’ve learnt is that language is power..... Grace: He’s very complex. One minute he’s “happy Geoff” and the next minute he’s “angry Geoff”, but I think the whole experience with the cancer has mellowed him out…... 9 May 2008 | The Australian > Lifestyle > The Weekend Australian Magazine

Big hearts join forces for poetBig hearts join forces for poet Geoff Goodfellow was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year, and has been struggling…
to keep up with medical bills.So a bunch of Geoff's mates, including Michael Abbott QC, Chris Kourakis QC… 5 Jul 2008 | Adelaide Now >


Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancers encompass a diverse group of uncommon tumors that frequently are aggressive in their biologic behavior.  Many patients with head and neck cancer have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.

Head and neck cancer is about 3 times more common in men than women.  Most patients are aged between 50 and 70 years old, but head and neck cancer does occur in younger people. There are more women and fewer smokers in the younger patient group.
Risk factors for head and neck cancer include tobacco and alcohol use, ultra­violet (UV) light exposure, viral infection (eg human papilloma virus), and environmental exposures.

In Australia, Head and Neck Cancers (HNC) account for about 3% of all cancers, with 2,700 people diagnosed per year (1940 males, 730 females).  The average age at diagnosis is 63yrs.  Almost 900 people die each year from HNC, (680 males, 210 women).

In South Australia (SA), 168 people (131 men and 37 women) were diagnosed with HNC in 2006 (the latest statistics available), and there were 52 deaths (38 men, 14 women).  Head and Neck Cancers accounted for 2.0% of all cancers, and 1.5% of all cancer deaths in SA.

Approximately 100,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia, and cancer is the cause of 40,000 deaths per year.  In 2005, the five most common cancers were prostate cancer (16,349 cases), colorectal cancer (13,076), breast cancer (12,265), melanoma of the skin (10,684) and lung cancer (9,182). These five cancers accounted for over 61% of all cancer diagnoses.

For more information about head and neck cancer:

CancerHelp UKCancerHelp UK
The Oral Cancer FoundationThe Oral Cancer Foundation

References for this article
CancerNetworkCancerNetwork Head and Neck Tumours Chapter 4.
Cancer in Australia: an overview (2008) Cancer in Australia: an overview (2008)
Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality BooksAustralian Cancer Incidence and Mortality Books: Head and Neck Cancer
South Australian Cancer Registry Report (2006) South Australian Cancer Registry Report (2006) Table 100, p96



Cancer Voices South Australia


Ph.  0431 691 956 


PO Box 588, Kensington Park SA 5068