Public Urged to Attend Free Screenings on Friday, April 20
The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation YBF urges Americans to get screened for cancer during the 2007 Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week OHANCAW, April 16-22. The week is highlighted by a nationwide day of free screenings at more than 150 medical centers on Friday, April 20. For more information and to find a screening site near you log onto www.headandneck****. According to the American Cancer Society, this year more than 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck which include cancers of the oral cavity, larynx and pharynx and 7,550 will die.
When diagnosed very early, oral and other head and neck cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase, said Terry Day, M.D., President of the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation YBF, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, and Director, Division of Head & Neck Oncologic Surgery, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina. However, many Americans do not recognize the symptoms of these cancers, which makes screening very important, especially for those who are at high risk, such as tobacco and alcohol users.
According to Dr. Day, there has recently been an increasing incidence of some of these cancers in young adults who do not smoke and some researchers have revealed an association with human papillomavirus HPV.
Oral, head and neck cancer OHNC refers to a variety of cancers that develop in the head and neck region, such as the oral cavity mouth; the pharynx throat; paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity; the larynx voice box; thyroid and salivary glands; the skin of the face and neck; and the lymph nodes in the neck. Common warning signs of OHNC are:
Red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks
Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
Sore throat that does not subside
Pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside
Lump in the neck
Other warning signs that occur during later stages of the disease include:
Difficulty speaking or swallowing
The most effective prevention strategy remains the cessation of risky behaviors such as smoking, use of chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. More than 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use, while others may have a relationship to viral causes such as HPV and Epstein Barr Virus EBV.