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News at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center

Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life

4/11/2013

Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 13,200 lives per year. If diagnosed early, these cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase. 

Tobacco and alcohol users traditionally have been considered the populations at greatest risk for these cancers. However, oral cancer cases are on the rise in younger adults who do not smoke, and recent research indicates this development is due partly to the increase of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, a cancer-causing infection that can be transmitted orally. HPV-related oral cancers are more difficult to detect because these cancers usually occur on the back of the tongue or on the tonsils, providing even more reason to get screened regularly. 

Some early signs and symptoms include: 
  • A red or white spot in your mouth that doesn't heal or that increases in size 
  • Sore throat or swollen tonsils 
  • Changes in your voice 
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue 
  • Earache 
  • A lump in your neck 
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center (3301 Squalicum Parkwa​y) will offer a free oral, head & neck cancer screening event on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes. Doctors will be on hand to do a brief examination.

Registration is required and a time can be reserved by calling the Cancer Center at (360) 788-8226.​​

 
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