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IU Simon Cancer Center, Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, others provide free screenings at Allstate 400

  

INDIANAPOLIS -- (July 16, 2010) -- Race fans at this year’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard can get a free oral, head and neck cancer screening.

Ticket holders to the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard can be screened for oral, head and neck cancer for free. Volunteers from the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, and the South Carolina-based Head and Neck Cancer Alliance will provide the screenings.           

The screenings, which are quick and painless and involve a physical examination of the mouth, facial area and neck for abnormalities, are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 25.  

Screening tents will be located in the east side of the Hall of Fame Museum lot, located inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, adjacent to the Hall of Fame Museum. For more information, call the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance at (843) 792-6624 or visit www.headandneck.org.  

 If any irregularities are found, a person will be referred to his or her primary care physician or a specialist.       

When diagnosed very early, oral and other head and neck cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase,” Michael G. Moore, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery with the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center, said.  

What is oral, head, and neck cancer?             

Oral, head, and neck cancer refers to a variety of cancers that develop in the head and neck region, such as the oral cavity (mouth); the pharynx (throat); paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity; the larynx (voice box); thyroid and salivary glands; the skin of the face and neck; and the lymph nodes in the neck. According to the American Cancer Society, this year more than 40,000 people will be diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck

Signs & symptoms  

  • Red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks
  • Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
  • Sore throat that does not subside
  • Pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside
  • Lump in the neck

Other warning signs that occur during later stages of the disease include: 

  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

Prevention  

The most effective prevention strategy remains the cessation of risky behaviors such as smoking, use of chewing tobacco, and excessive alcohol consumption. Many head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use, although there is an increasing number of young people with human papillomavirus-related cancer of the back of the tongue and tonsil.