Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life
Southeast Cancer Center at Southeast Alabama Medical Center to Offer Free Screening During Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month, Monday, April 22, 12 – 3 p.m.
Just because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just ask the more than 100,000 Americans who were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck (including thyroid) last year. Unfortunately, many Americans do not recognize the symptoms of these life-threatening diseases, which include cancers of the oral cavity, thyroid, larynx and pharynx. For some, by the time they are diagnosed, it is too late.
Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 13,000 lives per year. However, there is hope. If diagnosed early, these cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase.
Who should get tested?
Every adult. 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, a cancer-causing infection that can be transmitted by oral sex. 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 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.
How can I get screened locally?
Southeast Cancer Center is offering free oral cancer screenings in observance of the 16th annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) on Monday, April 22 from Noon to 3 p.m. The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes. Joe Frank Smith, MD, FACS of ENTcare, and Steve H. Stokes, MD, and Jarrod Adkison, MD, Radiation Oncologists with Southeast Cancer Center, will perform the free screenings.
Why should I get screened?
If the above stats weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free. Given the current state of the economy and rising healthcare 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 contact us at Southeast Alabama Medical Center at 334-712-3336 to make a reservation for your free oral cancer screening today. Limited appointments are available.
Gregory Thompson, DO, is now seeing patients for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) two days a week at the NeuroSpine Center.
Dr. Thompson is the chairman of Osteopathic Principles and Practice at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM).
OMT is a system of evaluation and treatment designed to help patients receive a greater range of motion of the joints; improve blood flow and nerve function; reduce or eliminate musculoskeletal pain and generally restore normal function to the body.
OMT involves the use of manual pressure to effect a change in joint position or tissue tension. It can be used to complement the treatment of all forms of disease, especially musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain; neck pain; sports injuries; repetitive stress injuries; and headaches.
As researchers nationwide learn more about autism, the rate of diagnosis has increased significantly in children.
1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism – a complex neurobiological disorder, ranging from mild to severe, that impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others and typically lasts throughout a lifetime. Autism is diagnosed more than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS, but because of the stigma attached to the condition, many parents don't seek help for their children.
"Early intervention plays a vital role in giving children with autism a chance at having as close to a normal life as possible," says Fran Heisner, a speech therapist at Southeast Alabama Medical Center. During Autism Awareness Month, celebrated each April and sponsored by the Autism Society of America (ASA), an opportunity is provided to educate the public about the condition that is usually evident by age 3.