Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life

Free Oral Cancer Screening—Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center to Offer Free Screenings During Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week®, Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Image of Group of People for Promotion of Oral Health Screening in DCJust because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. More than 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck last year. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t recognize the symptoms of these life-threatening diseases and for some, by the time they’re diagnosed, it’s too late.

Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 14,000 lives per year. However, there is hope. If diagnosed early, these cancers are more easily treated without significant complications and the chances of survival greatly increase.

Who should get tested?

Every adult should be tested. 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. 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.

What are the potential warning signs of oral cancers?

The signs and symptoms of oral cancer often go unnoticed. However, there are a few visible signs associated with these cancers that require immediate attention, including:

  • A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal or that increases in size
  • Persistent pain in your mouth
  • Lumps or white or red patches inside your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Changes in your voice
  • A lump in your neck

If you have any of the above warning signs, do not wait for the free screenings. Seek medical attention immediately.

Oral Cancer Foundation LogoHow can I get screened locally?

Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center will offer free oral cancer screenings in observance of the 19th Annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) on Wednesday, April 13, 2016.  The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes.  If you’ll be out-of-town on those dates, free screenings will be offered at more than 400 participating institutions worldwide as part of OHANCAW, which is scheduled for the week of April 10-16.  Visit www.headandneck.org for the full list of participating sites and for more information. OHANCAW is sponsored nationally by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.

Why should I get screened?

If the above stats weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free, and it’s right around the corner. Given the current state of the economy and rising health care costs, take advantage of the opportunity to benefit from this preventive health measure at no charge by taking 10 minutes to do something that could save your life. Early diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes and chances of survival, particularly for individuals with HPV-related oral cancers.

Please call 202-296-6600 or fill out the form below to sign up for your free oral cancer screening today.

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