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Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter

Free head and neck cancer screening set for March 15

by | Posted on Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 — 9:20 AM

Medical professionals in the Department of Otolaryngology will provide free head and neck cancer screenings, Saturday, March 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Craft Brewed, a local craft brew and home supply store, 2502 Franklin Pike.

(photo by Daniel Dubois)

The public is invited to take advantage of the free cancer screenings and no appointments are needed.

There are more than 40,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity and throat every year in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society, and men are far more likely to be diagnosed than women.

While heavy tobacco and alcohol use have been traditional risk factors for head and neck cancer, an increasing number of cases are linked to infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus is a common sexually transmitted infection that is normally shed within a couple of years in most people. However, for a small percentage of individuals, the HPV virus can lead to cancers in the head and neck, especially cancers of the tonsil, base of the tongue and other sites within the throat, in addition to cancers of the cervix in women.

Head and neck cancer symptoms include a persistent sore throat, red or white patches on the tongue or in the mouth or throat, a lump or thickening in the mouth, throat or neck, ear pain or difficulty chewing or swallowing.

The free screenings are painless and take just a few minutes. During the exam, specialists will examine the individual’s mouth and throat and will palpate the neck. Patients who exhibit potential symptoms will be referred for follow-up exams.

For more details, contact Andrew.d.Beckler@vanderbilt.edu.

Contact:
Dagny Stuart, (615) 936-7245
Dagny.stuart@vanderbilt.edu


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