DETROIT (WWJ) – Head and neck cancers account for approximately 3 percent of all cancer cases in the country. Since early detection saves lives and reduces the debilitating side-effects associated with this highly preventable type of cancer, two local organizations are providing free cancer screenings.
Henry Ford Health System is holding free oral, head and neck cancer screenings from 8 am until 4 pm Thursday, May 12.
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit is also conducting free screenings from 1:30 until 4:30 pm on Friday, May 13.
The screenings are part of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. The week (May 8-14) is spearheaded by The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance to create a coalition in the fight against head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancer can occur in the mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), swallowing passages, nasal passages, salivary glands and thyroid gland. Tobacco and/or heavy alcohol use increases the risk of developing the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 49,200 Americans who were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck last year alone and approximately 11,400 died from the disease.
Most cases are found in people over the age of 40, and the disease is more common in African-Americans than Caucasians.
A simple 10-minute screening exam can help determine if there is a problem that needs further follow-up which could help detect any of the oral, head and neck cancers in their earliest stages.
If diagnosed early, oral, head and neck cancers can be more easily treated and the chances of survival increase greatly.
Those who use tobacco or drink heavily should be screened for head and neck cancer at least once a year. Head and neck cancer warning signs also include hoarseness, persistent throat and ear pain, mouth sores that won’t heal or a lump in the neck.
Are you at risk? Some of the warning signs of oral cancers include:
- Sore throat that does not subside
- Red or white patches in the mouth that last more than two weeks
- Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
- Pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside
- Lump in the neck
- Ear pain
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
Although the screening is free, space is limited, so an appointment is required.
The Henry Ford Health System free screenings will be held May 12 at the following Henry Ford Ear, Nose and Throat clinic locations:
- Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
- Henry Ford Medical Center – Lakeside, 14500 Hall Road, Sterling Heights
- Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 6777 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield
- Henry Ford Medical Center – Fairlane, 19401 Hubbard Drive, Dearborn
To make your appointment at one of the Henry Ford locations, call (313) 916-3275.
The Karmanos screening will be held May 13 at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, 4100 John R. (south of Warren, north of Mack, next to Harper Hospital) in Detroit.
Any adult, age 18 and over are encouraged to attend, especially those who have ever used tobacco and/or alcohol products, but you must pre-register by 5 p.m., May 12, to arrange for a free screening and complimentary valet parking.
Call 1-800-KARMANOS or 1-800-527-6266. On-site registration on May 13 will also be accepted if space is available. Parking will only be complimentary for those who pre-register by May 12.