May 5, 2011

Vanderbilt Offers Free Head and Neck Cancer Exams, Friday, May 6

Lumps, bumps or sore spots on the head or neck or discomfort in the mouth and throat may be early symptoms of head and neck cancer. Vanderbilt will hold its annual free head and neck cancer screening and education event Friday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences and Meharry Medical College are partnering with the national Head and Neck Cancer Alliance to provide the screening.

Signs of head and neck cancer can include a lump or sore in the neck, mouth or throat that doesn’t go away, persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or a change in the voice.

In the past, head and neck cancer was diagnosed primarily in older patients with a history of tobacco and alcohol use. But today, younger non-smoking patients infected with the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) are developing this form of cancer.

The head and neck cancer screening exams take only a few minutes and are painless. During the exam, physicians inspect the mouth and throat and palpate the neck to search for abnormalities in the thyroid, lymph nodes, or salivary glands.

The screening sessions will be held in three locations: Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, Odess Head & Neck Surgery Clinic, 7209 Medical Center East – South Tower, 1215 21st Ave. South; VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Surgical Clinic No. 1 – ENT Clinic, First Floor, 1310 24th Ave. South; Lobby of the Dental School at Meharry Medical College, corner of D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd. and Meharry Blvd.


No appointments are necessary. For more information, contact Michelle Pham (615) 936-4896.