The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby recently gave free oral, head and neck cancer screenings to 55 individuals in recognition of the Annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®.
This is the fifth year Griffin has offered these free screenings to the community. Participating physicians included Dr. Joseph Cardinale, Dr. Joyce Chung, Dr. Jay Dworkin, Dr. Ken Yanagisawa, Dr. David Fantarella, Dr. Michael Garaffa, and Dr. Michael Yungaitis. Volunteers also included medical student Katie Yanagisawa and students from University of Bridgeport, Fones School of Dental Hygiene.
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 neoplasm.
In the past five years of this program at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, more than 280 free screenings have been conducted, with nearly 39 instances of individuals being referred for follow-up that could have saved their lives.
Oral, head and neck cancer can arise in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat or larynx (voice box). According to the American Cancer Society, more than 48,300 new cases of head and neck cancers will be diagnosed in 2016, resulting in more than 9,500 deaths.
Oral cancer screenings are recommended for every adult, especially for tobacco and alcohol users who are traditionally at the greatest risk. However, oral cancer cases are on the rise in younger adults who do not smoke, and recent research indicates this development is due partly to the increase of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus.
Symptoms associated with oral cancer, include:
- A sore in your mouth that doesn't heal or that increases in size
- Persistent pain in your mouth
- Lumps or white or red patches inside your mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
- Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Changes in your voice
- A lump in your neck
If you have any of these warning signs, contact your physician or call the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital at 203-732-1280 right away.
About the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital
Opened in October, 2008, Griffin Hospital's Center for Cancer Care provides care that's comprehensive, comforting, and close to home. The Center provides access to Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology, and a range of affiliated physicians under the same roof in a Planetree-inspired healing environment. Support services include a Patient Care Navigator, dietary/nutritional consultations, genetic counseling, social work services, spiritual care, education and support groups, and a variety of non-traditional therapies to reduce anxiety. For more information, visit griffincancercenter.org or call 203-732-1260.