ORAL, HEAD AND NECK CANCER WEEK
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week during the first week in April shines a light on a potentially fatal disease.
The week also aims to inform the public that there are more than 43,000 cases of oral, head and neck cancers each year. A goal of the campaign is to educate people that dentists are the first line of defense against oral cancer. An oral oncology report estimates that early 8000 people die every year due to head and neck cancer. Oral, head and neck cancers refer to many types of cancers, including those that arise in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat or larynx (voice box). Cancers of the oropharynx (tonsil and base of tongue) are increasing in incidence, particularly in younger nonsmokers, due to their association with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers include:
- Voice change or hoarseness
- Lump in the neck
- Red or white lesions in the mouth or throat that don’t heal
- Sore throat or swollen tonsils for longer than two weeks
- Difficulty or painful swallowing
- Unintentional weight loss
HOW TO OBSERVE #OralHeadNeckCancerWeek
- Visit the Cancer.net website to learn more about head and neck cancers. Host a head and neck cancer screening in your community.
- Use social media to inform people that National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is at hand: #ohancaw, #OralHeadNeckCancerAwarenessWeek
- Donate to organizations that support people with this type of cancer. The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and affiliates conduct free screenings, educational school talks, walkathons, fundraisers, and other events in an effort to save lives via early detection, awareness, support, and education.
ORAL, HEAD, AND NECK CANCER WEEK HISTORY
Observance of the week is led by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HCNA) and supported by the American Academy of Otolaryngology. The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (HNCA)sponsors the week-long observance. HCNA is a non-profit organization that works with health professionals and organizations, celebrities and survivors to enhance the overall effort in prevention, treatment, and detection of cancers of the head and neck region.