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Education Schedule - May 2016 (PDF)  

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Cedars-Sinai Holds Free Head and Neck Cancer Screening

 Head and Neck Screening

Allen Ho, MD, examines a patient during Cedars-Sinai’s free head and neck cancer screening event on May 6.

More than a dozen physicians and dental residents from the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Department of Surgery performed free head and neck cancer screenings for employees and the public on May 6.

As part of the screening, more than 115 participants underwent examinations of the skin, neck, head, throat and thyroid gland at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center.

"It is always important to have a screening whether you feel healthy or not," said Kathleen Burgner, education program coordinator of nursing and obstetrics. "If it is available to you, then why not get ahead of your health."

Head and neck cancer is especially dangerous because patients often can go years without experiencing noticeable symptoms. Medical professionals recommend adults maintain regular screenings for the disease, which strikes more than 50,000 annually in the United States.

"This cancer is affecting everyone, not just smokers and alcohol drinkers," said Allen Ho, MD, director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program. "The symptoms often aren’t apparent, so patients often are diagnosed at an advanced stage."

The most common types of head and neck cancers are throat, larynx, tongue and thyroid, but it also can occur in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth and salivary glands. While many cases are without symptoms, others can include a neck lump, persistent sore throat, hoarseness, pain when swallowing or unexplained weight loss.