Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®
The 16th Annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW), sponsored by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, is scheduled for April 14-20, 2013. OHANCAW is a weeklong series of events promoting awareness of oral, head, and neck cancer, highlighted by a day of free oral cancer screenings throughout the United States.
According to a brand new Harris Interactive survey, 71 percent of Americans say they have not been examined by a medical professional for oral, head, and neck cancer. Given the rise in oral cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV), screening for early detection of this disease is more than important than ever. The Academy is urging you to participate by conducting a free screening at your medical practice, clinic, hospital or medical university. To find screening locations in your area, please visit the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance website, www.OHANCAW.com for more information.
What is Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer?
Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer is a broad term that includes malignant tumors occurring in the mouth or oral cavity, which includes lips, tongue, gums, lining inside the lips and cheeks, and the floor or roof of the mouth; the oropharynx, which includes the back one-third of the tongue, the back of the throat, and the tonsils; the nasopharynx, the area behind the nose; the hypopharynx, lower part of the throat; and the voice box.
Head and neck cancer is often easily treatable if detected early, but often it is not. Treatment can include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Common Signs and Symptoms:
A lump in the neck - cancers of the head and neck usually spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. A lump that last more
than two weeks should be seen by an ENT as soon as possible.
Change in the voice - most cancers in the larynx cause some changes in the voice. Any hoarsness or vocal changes lasting for more than two weeks should be evaluated.
A growth in the mouth - Most cancers of the mouth and tongue cause a sore or swelling that doesn't go away.
Swallowing problems - Cancer of the throat or esophagus may make swalloing solid foods and even liquids difficult.
Changes in skin coloration and texture - The most common head and neck cancer is skin cancer.
Persistent earache - Constant pain in or around the ear when you swallow can be a sign of infection or tumor growth in the throat.
It is important to note that the symptoms described here can occur with no cancer present, but having a thorough examination by an ENT physician can rule out any issues.
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