Cancer Screenings

03/25/14

Center for Healthy Living Offers Free Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Screenings

In recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month in April, The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital is partnering with area doctors to offer free oral, head and neck cancer screenings to the public.

The screenings will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15; 10:30 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16; and from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 1. All screenings will take place at Winchester Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care, 620 Washington St., Winchester.

Oral, head and neck cancers begin in the oral cavity, nasal cavity, sinuses, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat or larynx. According to the American Cancer Society, cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, throat and thyroid are expected to contribute to 118,050 new cancer cases, and more than 13,890 deaths, this year.

According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco (including chewing tobacco) and alcohol use are risk factors for oral, head and neck cancers. People who use both tobacco and alcohol have a greater risk for developing these cancers than those who use neither or only one. While the majority of oral, head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco and alcohol use, more than half of the cancer of the oropharynx cases (cancer of the tonsils and the base of the tongue) are linked to Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can be spread through oral sex, and as a result, cancers of the oropharynx are increasingly affecting younger people and/or nonsmokers.

There are a few early signs and symptoms associated with oral, head and neck cancers that should be brought to your doctor’s attention, such as a red or white spot in your mouth that doesn't heal or that increases in size, a sore throat, a swollen tonsil, changes in your voice, a lump in your neck, an earache or difficulty swallowing.

To register for an oral, head and neck cancer screening, call The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital at (781) 756-4700.

About The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital

The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital is committed to helping community members take responsibility for their health and well-being by offering the education and resources that change lives. Established in 1996 as the Community Health Institute, it now offers more than 30 programs and services throughout the year with offerings in disease management, childbirth, integrative therapies, fitness, yoga, Tai Chi/Qi Gong, CPR and first aid, weight management, career services and support groups. The institute is also home to two retail services; A Caring Place, which features wigs, bras, prostheses and head coverings for women living with cancer; and the Lactation Center Boutique, which offers the highest-quality breastfeeding supplies and support. For more information or to register for a program or service, please call The Center for Healthy Living at Winchester Hospital at (781) 756-4700 or visit www.winchesterhospital.org/events.