SCHNECK CANCER CENTER OFFERING FREE ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
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March 19, 2012
In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Schneck Medical Center will be offering free oral cancer screenings on Thursday, April 19, from 8 am to noon. The screenings will be at Schneck’s Cancer Center on the medical center campus in Seymour. You must have a scheduled appointment to participate in the free screening.
Oral cancer is not a rare disease. About 37,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the U.S. It kills one person every hour of every day, and more than 100 individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. However, it can often be found early in its development through a simple, painless and quick screening.
“Oral cancers may develop in the lip area, oral cavity or oropharynx, the general throat area,” says Sally Acton, RN, BSN, OCN, MSM, Director of Cancer and Pain Services at Schneck “The key to survival is early detection. When oral cancers are found early, patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate.”
Tammy Heister-Stout, DDS, will be performing the screenings at the Cancer Center.
You must have a scheduled appointment to participate in the free screening and time slots are limited.
Adults should be screened annually for oral cancer, as it can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and side effects from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings, such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages.
There are two distinct pathways by which most people develop oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 (human papilloma version 16) virus, which is also responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The quickest-growing segment of the oral cancer population is young, healthy nonsmokers, due to the connection to this virus.
Early indicators of oral cancer include:
• Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth
• Any sore which does not heal within 14 days
• Hoarseness that lasts for a prolonged period of time
Advanced indicators of oral cancer include:
• A sensation that something is stuck in your throat
• Numbness in the oral region
• Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue or in swallowing
• Ear pain that occurs on one side only
• A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture still does not heal
• A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth or on the neck
Oral cancer screenings are recommended each year, so take advantage of this free offer. The screening takes only a few minutes, but preregistration is required. For more information or to register for the free screening, call 812-522-0477. Please leave your name and phone number and your call will be returned promptly. Again, screening times are limited so please call early.