FOR MORE INFORMATION: 520-396-0881
Just because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just ask the more than 50,000
Americans who were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck last year.
Unfortunately, many individuals fail to recognize the symptoms of these life-threatening diseases, which include cancers of the oral cavity, larynx and pharynx. And by the time they are diagnosed, for some it’s too late.
The University of Arizona Medical Center is offering free head and neck cancer screenings during oral, head and neck cancer awareness weekon Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Sports Authority, 4225 N. Oracle Road. The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes.
Who should get screened?
Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 12,000 lives per year. There is hope, however, for if diagnosed early, these cancers can more easily be treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase.
Tobacco and alcohol users traditionally have been considered the populations at greatest risk for these cancers. 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, a cancer-causing infection that can be transmitted by oral sex. HPV-related oral cancers are more difficult to detect because these cancers usually occur on the back of the tongue or on the tonsils, providing even more reason to get screened regularly.
What are the potential warning signs of oral cancers?
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer often go unnoticed. However, there are a few visible signs associated with these cancers that require immediate attention, including:
- 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 the above warning signs, do not wait for the free screenings. Seek medical attention immediately.
Why should I get screened?
If the above statistics weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free. Given the current state of the economy and rising health-care costs, take advantage of the opportunity to benefit from this preventive health measure at no charge by taking 10 minutes to do something that could save your life. Early diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes and chances of survival, particularly for individuals with HPV-related oral cancers.
For more information on the free head and neck cancer screening, please call 520-396-0881.