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Head and Neck Cancer Screening Could Save Your Life

May 1, 2014

Approximately 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral, head and neck cancer every year in the United States, with an additional 100,000 diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Men are diagnosed nearly twice as often as women, and in approximately 65% of the time, oral cancers are found at a later stage when the disease is more difficult to treat.

To increase awareness of head and neck cancers and encourage early detection, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin cancer specialists will provide free screenings on Wednesday, April 30 from 4 to 6 pm at Froedtert & the Medical College Clinical Cancer Center. Registration is required; call (414) 805-3666.

“Tobacco and alcohol use are the leading causes of mouth and voice box cancers, but you don’t have to be a smoker to develop these diseases. Infection with the human papillomavirus related to oral sex is linked to an increase in mouth cancers among younger nonsmokers,” said Bruce Campbell, MD, chief of head and neck oncology, Froedtert & the Medical College Clinical Cancer Center.

As with most cancers, early detection is important to help beat the disease, “but these cancers often don’t have obvious symptoms in early stages,” Campbell added. “A sore (red or white patch) or a lump or bump on the tongue, neck, lip or mouth, or a sore throat can be the first signs of cancers of the mouth and throat. Hoarseness or a change in swallowing, speech or breathing can be the first sign of cancer of the voice box.”

Froedtert & the Medical College Cancer Clinical Center is located immediately south of the Specialty Clinics building, on Doyne Avenue between N. 87th and N. 92nd Streets. Free parking is available in the Parking Area 2, the Cancer Center parking structure.

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