Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is using the month of April to increase education about oral, head and neck cancers and foster a healthier community.
(Baton Rouge, La.) Because more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with oral, head and neck cancers every year in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society, the Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Cancer Care Team (Head and Neck MDC Team) at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is encouraging more people to become educated about these diseases. Each year, National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month is observed in April, and the Cancer Center’s Head and Neck MDC Team is using this opportunity to increase education and foster a healthier community.
The National Cancer Institute reports that three percent of all cancers each year are represented by nasal cavity, sinus, lip, mouth, salivary gland, throat, or larynx cancers. While these diseases are less common than some other cancers, they are some of the most complex to treat.
Dr. Daniel Nuss, Chair of the Cancer Center’s Head and Neck MDC Team and ranked in the top one percent of ear, nose and throat physicians by U.S. News & World Report, says that he and his colleagues are concerned about the lack of awareness of oral, head and neck cancers and feel it is important for everyone to become educated about these diseases.
“Symptoms of these cancers may as simple as a sore throat that doesn’t go away or a lump or sore that doesn’t heal,” said Dr. Nuss. “A screening for oral, head and neck cancer may be something you want to incorporate in your annual health check-up. Just like every other cancer, the earlier it is detected the better the chances are for a positive outcome. It’s important to have this conversation with your doctor.”
For Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Center’s team of renowned experts is primarily focusing on individuals most at risk for these diseases, particularly those who use tobacco and/or alcohol. However, there is also a substantial focus on educating younger people. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that the quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population is young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to the human papillomavirus (HPV). This means those with HPV need to know their risks and the warning signs for the disease.
Head and Neck MDC Team members include surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, and other specialists who work together to ensure the highest level of care for oral, head and neck cancer patients. Throughout April, team members will participate in media interviews, appear in web videos and speak at community events to help increase awareness of oral, head and neck cancers.
Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge are hosting a free informational event for anyone wanting to learn more about oral, head and neck cancers. The event will be held Wednesday, April 16 from 6 – 7 p.m. at Cancer Services, 550 Lobdell Avenue. For more information, please call (225) 927-2273.
To learn about free oral cancer screenings for uninsured or underinsured individuals, please visit www.mbpolol.org or call (225) 215-1234.
Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home. The Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that is developing a national model for community cancer care.