Employees Health

April 21: Free oral, head and neck cancer screenings

This year, more than 50,000 new cases of oral, head and neck cancers will be diagnosed in the U.S. Many of these cases will not be diagnosed until the cancer is in an advanced stage.

Head and neck cancers are common forms of cancer affecting the oral cavity, thyroid and voice box. Regular check-ups are vital for detecting the early stages of head and neck cancers or contributing conditions.

Augusta University Health, along with more than 400 national and international sites, joins the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance in urging individuals to get screened for oral, head and neck cancers.

Free cancer screenings will be held at AU Health’s Otolaryngology Clinic on Friday, April 21.

Heather Bentley, Nurse Practitioner in the Department of Otolaryngology, urges the Augusta University and Augusta community to attend the clinic.

“Attendees will receive a thorough exam and learn more about the symptoms of head and neck cancers,” she said. “These symptoms include a sore that will not heal, a lump that will not go away, persistent sore throat, difficulty with swallowing and hoarseness in the voice.”

While these symptoms may be cause by less serious conditions, early detection is beneficial.

Community members who are tobacco users and those who have been exposed to the Human Papilloma Virus are at a high risk for developing head and neck cancer, according to Bentley.

The screening event is part of the Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness week, seven days dedicated to promoting education, prevention, screening and early detection of mouth and throat cancers.

The AU Health Otolaryngology Head and Neck surgery team will be offering free screenings on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Medical Office Building, 1447 Harper St., fourth floor, Suite 4109. Screenings are painless and take approximately 10 minutes. To sign up, contact the Otolaryngology Clinic at 706-721-4400 and select option three to sign up for your free screening. For more information about head and neck cancers, visit headandneck.org.

About the author

Brennan Meagher

Brennan Meagher is a communications coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her at 706-446-4806 or bmeagher@augusta.edu.