Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Offers Free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings


March 27, 2013


Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Offers Free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings 

People who smoke or chew tobacco, consume alcohol regularly or have a family history of head and neck cancer are invited to a free head and neck cancer screening, sponsored by Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University. The screenings will be held 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, and 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at the Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St., Springfield.

The screenings are part of National Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

“Approximately 109,000 Americans were diagnosed with a form of oral head and neck cancer in 2012, resulting in an estimated 13,000 deaths,” said Dr. K. Thomas Robbins, professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and director of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU. “Regular check-ups can detect the early stages of head and neck cancer or conditions that may lead to it.”

SIU head and neck surgeons will perform the screenings. They will take a brief patient history, ask about potential risk factors and look for cancer that affects the ears, nose, mouth, throat, voice box, neck and thyroid gland. People who use tobacco or alcohol and/or have the following warning signs are encouraged to get screened:  persistent earache or sore throat, difficulty or pain with swallowing, hoarseness lasting more than two weeks, an ulcer in the mouth or throat that does not heal, or a lump in the neck or thyroid gland, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) positive.

Head and neck cancers account for approximately four percent of all cancers in the United States. They are more common in men and in people over age 50.

Individuals are asked to register in advance by calling Annette in SIU’s Department of Surgery 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 217-545-7133. Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Simmons Cancer Institute building.

Watch Dr. Debra Gonzales explain the screenings on our YouTube channel, available at

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service. Its website is

Phone 217-545-8000
P.O. Box 19620
Springfield, IL 62794-9620
The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to assist the citizens of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health-care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.


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