GHSU to host free oral cancer screenings April 26

Augusta, Ga. – About 30,000 people are diagnosed each year with oral cancer. Unfortunately, about 7,000 of them die because the cancer was discovered too late.

In recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Georgia Health Sciences University will offer free oral cancer screenings on Thursday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center, 1411 Laney Walker Blvd. The screenings are part of a nationwide prevention effort, sponsored by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, formerly known as The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.

Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, mouth, tongue, gums or salivary glands. Throat cancer involves cancer of the part of the upper throat. Oral, head and neck cancers are more prevalent in the South than in other areas of the country because of higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use, which are major risk factors.

Oral and throat cancers are usually painless in the early stages and have minor symptoms that mimic other health problems, such as a toothache. Periodic self-examination of the mouth, coupled with regular screenings by a physician or dentist, is the best way to detect oral and throat cancer in its beginning stages when treatment is most successful.

For more information or to schedule a free screening, call the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center at 706-721-6744.