The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital recently gave free oral, head and neck cancer screenings to 63 individuals in recognition of the Annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®.
This is the seventh year Griffin has offered these free screenings to the community.
Participating physicians included Joseph Cardinale, M.D., Joyce Chung, M.D., Khanh Nguyen, M.D., Ken Yanagisawa, M.D., Ronald Hirokawa, M.D., Ihor Ponomarenko, M.D., Michael Naso, M.D., Shaileja Pamnani, M.D., Richie Li Hao Xu, M.D., and Heide Kalra, PA.
As a result of the screenings, 43 individuals were referred for routine follow-up screenings, and 4 were referred for further head and neck evaluation. In the past six years of this program, more than 400 free screenings have been conducted, with more than 45 instances of individuals being referred for follow-up screenings 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). The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance estimates that there will more than 63,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, throat and thyroid world-wide, and approximately 13,00 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
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 203-732-1260 right away.