March 16, 2016
Free Oral Cancer Screenings at SCI
Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.
That’s all it takes to be screened for head and neck cancer. Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will provide free screenings for head and neck cancers from 4-6 p.m. by appointment on Monday, April 11, and Monday, April 18 at the cancer institute, 315 W. Carpenter Street, Springfield.
Regular check-ups and early detection can find a head and neck cancer in its early stages or a condition that may lead to it. Accounting for approximately four percent of all cancers in the United States, head and neck cancers are more common in men and in people over age 50.
Pardis Javadi, M.D., and Arun Sharma, M.D., M.S., will lead the screening effort, which is offered in April each year as part of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Both Javadi and Sharma are assistant professors of otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at SIU School of Medicine. They see patients at Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU.
Individuals can make an appointment by calling 217-545-7435 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Parking for the screenings is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Simmons Cancer Institute building.
Warning signs for head and neck cancers are:
• 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
People who smoke or chew tobacco, consume alcohol regularly or have a family history of head and neck cancer are at higher risk and should also be tested. Physicians 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.
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.