April 18, 2008

Free head and neck cancer screenings set

Featured Image

(photo by Anne Rayner)

Free head and neck cancer screenings set

On Friday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Vanderbilt Medical Center will provide free head and neck cancer screenings for anyone concerned about their risk.

The exams, which take only a few minutes, include inspection of the mouth and throat as well as palpation of the neck to detect abnormalities in lymph nodes or the thyroid.

The cancer screenings will be held at three locations: Vanderbilt Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 7209 Medical Center East, South Tower; Surgical Clinic Number One in the ENT Clinic, first floor of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, 1310 24th Ave. South; and Meharry Medical College, Dental School, 1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd.

“Head and neck cancer has always been linked to heavy exposure to tobacco or alcohol and previously was primarily a disease of older patients,” said Wendell (Dell) Yarbrough, M.D., associate professor of Otolaryngology and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

“Now we're also seeing much younger cancer patients who don't have those smoking or drinking risk factors but they do test positive for HPV (human papillomavirus).”

HPV is already implicated as a cause of cervical cancer in women, but now head and neck cancer has been added to the list. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world.

The screenings are held in cooperation with the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.

No appointments are needed for the screenings. For more information, call 936-4896.