Section: Saint Barnabas Medical Center News

Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life - Free Screening

03/07/2016

Saint Barnabas Medical Center to Offer Free Screenings during Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®,

April 14; 8:00 am to Noon, 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 4:30 to 6:30 pm

Screenings Being Held at Atkins Kent Building, 101 Old Short Hills Road, Suite 401, West Orange

Just because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just ask the more than 100,000 Americans who were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck (including thyroid) last year. Unfortunately, many Americans do not recognize the symptoms of these life-threatening diseases, which include cancers of the oral cavity, thyroid, larynx and pharynx, and by the time they are diagnosed, for some, it’s too late.

Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 14,000 lives per year. However, there is hope; if diagnosed early, these cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase.

Who should get tested?

Every adult. 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.

How can I get screened locally?

The physicians with The Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer Institute at Saint Barnabas Medical Center will provide free oral, head and neck cancer screenings in observance of the 19th Annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®). The screenings will take place on April 14 throughout the day at the Atkins Kent Building, 101 Old Short Hills Road, Suite 401, West Orange. The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. An appointment is required; please call 1-888-724-7123 to schedule your appointment.

Why should I get screened?

If the above stats weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free, and it’s right around the corner. 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. Please contact us at 1-888-724-7123 to sign up for your free oral cancer screening today.

Categories: Cancer,Press Releases,Wellness