Griffin Hospital tests 40 for oral, head, and neck cancer

The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby recently gave free oral, head and neck cancer screenings to 40 individuals in recognition of the 17th annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

This is the third year Griffin has offered these free screenings to the community.

Oral, head and neck cancer can arise in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat or larynx (voice box). According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 118,000 new cases of head and neck cancers will be diagnosed in 2014, resulting in an estimated 14,000 deaths.

Screening recommended for adults

Oral cancer screenings are recommended for every adult, especially for tobacco and alcohol users who are traditionally at the greatest risk.

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.

Symptoms associated with oral cancer, include:

• 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 these warning signs, contact your physician or call the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital at 203-732-1280.