Free screenings for oral, head and neck cancers in Orangeburg and North Augusta will be offered at several locations to highlight Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, April 17-23.
Screening locations, times and appointments can be obtained by calling:
Robert C. Gordon, DDS
157 Centre Street
David A. Owings, DMD
540 West Martintown Road
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, local physicians, dentists, and the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation urge residents to get screened at a free location or through their personal physician or dentist. With a rate of 3.8 per 100,000, South Carolina ranks third in the nation for deaths from these cancers.
"Looking for oral, head and neck cancer is critical, especially for those who have habits that put them at higher risk, such as smoking, chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption," said Terry Day, M.D., past chair of the S.C. Cancer Alliance and president of the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, which sponsors the observance. "Oral, head and neck cancer can be best treated when caught in its early stages, giving patients a greater chance for a cure and a high quality of life after treatment."
Oral, head and neck cancer refers to a variety of cancers that develop in the head and neck region such as the mouth, throat, sinuses and nasal cavity, voice box, thyroid and salivary glands, skin of the face and neck and the lymph nodes in the neck. Dr. Day said more than 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use, making this one of the most preventable diseases.
"Many people don't readily recognize the common warning signs, which can include a red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks, change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks, a sore throat that does not subside, pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside and a lump in the neck," he said.
Treatment of these cancers varies depending upon the extent of disease at the initial diagnosis. Many patients are managed with surgery, but radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may also be utilized.
For more information, call 1-843-792-6624 or visit the Yul Brynner Foundation Web site at www.yulbrynnerfoundation.org.