March 7, 2014
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. on Monday, April 7, and 4-7 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St., Springfield.
The screenings are part of National Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 118,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a form of oral head and neck cancer in 2014, resulting in an estimated 13,000 deaths. Regular check-ups can detect the early stages of head and neck cancer or conditions that may lead to it.
“I encourage everyone with risk factors to get screened. This is 10 minutes that could save your life,” said Dr. K. Thomas Robbins, executive director emeritus of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU and professor of otolaryngology at SIU School of Medicine.
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. Watch SIU head and neck surgeon Dr. Debra Gonzalez talk about head and neck cancer screening at http://bit.ly/1lCF12G.
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, a lump in the neck or thyroid gland, or testing positive for the Human Papillomavirus.
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 or online at www.siumed.edu/cancer. Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to Simmons Cancer Institute building.
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 www.siumed.edu/cancer.