Griffin Hospital will offer free
oral, head and neck cancer screenings from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wed., April 5 at
the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.
This is the sixth straight year
Griffin has offered the free screenings to the community. Held during Oral,
Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®, the free screenings aim to catch cancers
that arise in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary
glands, throat or larynx (voice box) at an early, and treatable stage.
“We encourage our community members
to participate in our free head and neck screening,” said Carrie O’Malley,
Director of Navigation and Support Services at The Center for Cancer Care. “Individuals
will receive a thorough exam and learn more of the symptoms of head and neck
cancers, which include: a lump or a sore that does not heal, a sore throat that
does not go away, difficulty in swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the
voice. These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious conditions.
However, it’s important to get screened right away. For our community members
who are tobacco users or who have the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), we strongly
urge each individual to get screened as both are high risk factors for oral,
head and neck cancers.”
The screening is painless and takes
about 10 minutes. Space for the free screenings is limited, so early
registration is encouraged. To register, call 203-732-1260.
The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance estimates that there
will more than 650,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, throat
and thyroid world-wide, and approximately 14,240 deaths from these cancers in
the United States. Cancers of the oropharynx (tonsil and base of tongue) are
increasing in incidence, particularly in younger nonsmokers, and it is
estimated that these cancers alone will account for over 40,000 cases per year
in the United States.
Last year, 55 individuals were screened at the Center. As
a result of the screenings, four individuals were referred for further
evaluation, three individuals were referred to a dermatologist for skin lesions
and one participant was referred to for immediate follow-up for a suspected
About Oral Head and
Most oral cancers arise on the lips, tongue or the floor
of the mouth. They also may occur inside the cheeks, on the gums or on the roof
of the mouth. Oropharyngeal cancers related to HPV are often found in the
tonsil or base of tongue. Other head and neck cancers arise from the voice box
or throat, or from salivary (spit) glands or the thyroid gland.
Some early signs and symptoms include:
- A red or white spot in
your mouth that doesn't heal or that increases in size
- Sore throat or swollen
- Changes in your voice
- A lump in your neck
- Difficulty swallowing
Tobacco (including smokeless tobacco) and alcohol use are
very high risk factors for oral, head and neck cancers, particularly those of
the tongue, mouth, throat and voice box. People who use both tobacco and alcohol
are at greater risk for developing these cancers than people who use either
tobacco or alcohol alone. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has recently emerged as
having a connection to oropharyngeal (tonsil and base of tongue) cancer,
particularly in non-smokers and younger age groups.
While anyone can develop thyroid cancers, a family history
or exposure to radiation is considered a risk factor that may increase the
risk. Most salivary gland cancers do not seem to be associated with any
If you have any of these warning signs, do not wait
for the free screenings. Contact your physician or call the Center for Cancer
Care at Griffin Hospital at 203-732-1280.