Oral, head, and neck cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer in the world, with over 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States. The majority of these cancers traditionally have been linked with tobacco (including smokeless tobacco) and alcohol use. Over the last decade we have noticed an increasing number of head and neck cancer in young, non-smokers, which have been attributed to the human papilloma virus (HPV).
This year's Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week is April 10-16. The Temple Head & Neck Institute is working together with physicians and staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital, Jeanes Hospital, and Temple Health Ft. Washington to provide free head and neck screening examinations. Our goal is to not only identify those with signs and symptoms that are worrisome for head and neck cancer, but to also provide key information and education which will hopefully empower patients and spread the word of how to watch and look for early changes in the mouth, head, or neck which might not be normal. We hope that this knowledge will allow patients to present to a head/neck cancer specialist earlier, obtain the appropriate treatment, and improve outcomes and survival.
I encourage and welcome everyone to stop by either site to get screened for oral, head and neck cancer during the week, and hope together we can continue to increase cancer awareness.