Free screenings for oral cancer will be offered at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Clinic in the Jackson Medical Mall on Wednesday, April 23, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The screenings are part of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. UMMC’s Department of Otolaryngology and the Division of Oral Oncology will provide the screenings, which take about 10 minutes. Staff from The ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research will promote tobacco cessation.
Head and neck cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, skin, sinuses, and salivary and thyroid glands. Most oral cancers occur on the lips, tongue or the floor of the mouth, and if they are not caught early, they can be disastrous. The five-year survival rate is about 50 percent
Tobacco and alcohol use are the leading risk factors for oral, head and neck cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. What’s more, people who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk for developing these cancers than those who use only tobacco or alcohol.
Warning signs include having a sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal, persistent pain or the sensation of something being stuck in your throat.