Updated: 2019, Aug 1

National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week – April 2-9

National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

About National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW) is a public health and awareness campaign headed by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. It is supported by the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. The campaign is celebrated yearly and this 2017, it will be on the 2nd to 9th of April. It is a weeklong series of events that aim to promote awareness of oral, head and neck cancer. The event is highlighted by a day of free cancer screenings throughout the United States.

According to one Harris Interactive survey, more than 70% of Americans have not undergone examination for oral, head and neck cancer. This is alarming because of the rapid increase in oral cancers from the human papilloma virus (HPV). Screening is very important for early detection that increases the chance of successfully treating the deadly disease. The Academy urges medical professionals and other organizations to conduct free screening. The complete list of screening locations can be found on the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance website.

Purpose of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

The primary purpose of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is to raise the awareness of Americans with the potentially fatal disease. It also aims to inform the public that there are more than 43,000 cases of oral, head and neck cancers each year. The public health and awareness campaign also aims to inform the public that dentists are the first line of defense against oral cancer because they help with the early discovery of the disease.

The major risk factors for oral, head and neck cancer are smoking and the use of tobacco. For those who are young and healthy, the HPV virus is the usual cause. The fact of the matter is that such virus cannot be stopped from spreading although lives can be saved by medical intervention and public awareness. This is the opportunity for everyone to get involved and raise awareness of oral, head and neck cancer.

The public health and awareness campaign is also for informing the public about important information in regards oral, head and neck cancer. This includes the fact that these cancers typically start in the squamous cells lining the moist, mucosal surfaces in the head and neck. The squamous cell cancers are often called squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. It can also begin in the salivary glands, but this is a lot less common.

Purpose of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

Symptoms of Oral, Head and Neck Cancers

The symptoms for these types of cancer differ from one case to another. It usually starts with a lump or a sore throat that doesn’t heal for a long time. The common symptoms also include difficulty swallowing, change in the voice and persistent fever. Take note that these symptoms can also be from less serious conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, it would be best to consult a health care professional. The treatment plan depends on several factors like the exact location of the tumor, stage of cancer and the general health of a person. Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or a combination of any of these.

What can you do?

There are many ways to get involved. Here are some examples of what you can do to help spread oral, head and neck cancer awareness:

  • Organize a free screening for oral, head and neck cancer.
  • Donate to organizations that support people with this type of cancer.
  • Display National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer posters in public places like clinics.
  • Organize an event that aims to raise awareness of the potentially fatal disease.
  • Use social media to inform people that National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is at hand.
  • Organize a symposium with important figures and medical experts for the purpose of helping the public understand oral, head and neck cancer better.
  • Contact your local television or radio station to make a public service announcement about the public health and awareness campaign.
  • Inform your friends, family and acquaintances on how they can cut their risk of oral, head and neck cancer.
  • Write an article about National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week and get it published in your local or national newspaper.

Must Watch – What do you need to know about Head and Neck Cancer?

Message of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

The major risk factors for oral, head and neck cancer are smoking and tobacco use but the HPV virus can also cause it. This is the perfect time to get involved and help raise oral, head and neck cancer awareness. Remember that early detection is crucial when it comes to saving lives. Together, everyone can help make a difference in the world of oral, head and neck cancer patients.

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