According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 36,000 people will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancer in the United States in 2013. Well-known risk factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, increase the risk of developing these cancers, as well as infection with certain types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in non-smokers and younger patients. Symptoms such as non-healing sores or patches, pain, bleeding, loose teeth or non-fitting dentures, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, or lumps in the neck, may be worrisome indicators of the presence of oral or throat cancer. Some of these symptoms, unfortunately, may present when the cancer is already advanced.
Early detection of these cancers increases the chances for cure. That’s why the SIH Cancer Institute is teaming up with ear, nose and throat specialists to offer free screenings for oral, head and neck cancers on Friday, April 19, at Center for Medical Arts in Carbondale.
“Free oral and throat cancer screening programs are meant to identify patients at risk so that appropriate diagnostic tests can be done and treatment initiated as soon as possible. By promoting awareness and reaching out to the community, the Ear, Nose and Throat providers at SIH continue to actively participate in the fight against cancer,” said David Hohuan, M.D., an otolaryngologist and member of the SIH Cancer Institute’s head and neck cancer care team.