Lori Hamilton Named National Spokesperson for Head & Neck Cancer Awareness LORI HAMILTON, WIFE OF NASCAR LEGEND BOBBY HAMILTON, URGES PUBLIC TO ATTEND FREE CANCER SCREENINGS April 21-27 is Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week CHARLESTON,...
Lori Hamilton Named National Spokesperson for Head & Neck Cancer Awareness
LORI HAMILTON, WIFE OF NASCAR LEGEND BOBBY HAMILTON, URGES PUBLIC TO ATTEND FREE CANCER SCREENINGS
April 21-27 is Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 2, 2008 -- Lori Hamilton, wife of the late NASCAR racing legend Bobby Hamilton, is urging Americans to get screened for cancer during the 2008 Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW), April 21-27. The week is highlighted by free screenings at more than 150 medical centers nationwide.
Bobby Hamilton, the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner, died in January 2007 from complications of head and neck cancer at the age of 49. According to the American Cancer Society, this year more than 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck -- which include cancers of the oral cavity, larynx and pharynx -- and 7,550 will die.
"When Bobby was diagnosed he immediately became an advocate of early detection of head and neck cancer," said Lori Hamilton. "He asked everyone around him to get tested, promoted it to anyone who would listen and became a huge believer in the screening process. It doesn't hurt, is free and the 10 minutes it takes to do it could save your life. So we are encouraging everyone to please take advantage of this free screening opportunity."
For more information and to find a screening site near you log onto www.OHANCAW.com.
"When diagnosed very early, oral and other head and neck cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase," said Steven Roser, D.M.D., M.D, DeLos Professor and Chief, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta and Medical Director of the Georgia Chapter of the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation. "However, many Americans do not recognize the symptoms of these cancers, which makes screening very important, especially for those who are at high risk, such as tobacco and alcohol users."
There has recently been an increasing incidence of some of these cancers in young adults who do not smoke and some researchers have revealed an association with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, due possibly to an increase in oral sex among young people.
Oral, head & neck cancer (OHNC) refers to a variety of cancers that develop in the head and neck region, such as the oral cavity (mouth); the pharynx (throat); paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity; the larynx (voice box); thyroid and salivary glands; the skin of the face and neck; and the lymph nodes in the neck. Common warning signs of OHNC are:
*Red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks
*Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
*Sore throat that does not subside
*Pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside
*Lump in the neck
Other warning signs that occur during later stages of the disease include:
*Difficulty speaking or swallowing
The most effective prevention strategy remains the cessation of risky behaviors such as smoking, use of chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. More than 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use, while others may have a relationship to viral causes such as HPV and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).
Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW), sponsored by the The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation, a subsidiary of the Alliance for Head and Neck Cancer, is a week set aside annually in April to educate the public about these potentially life-threatening but eminently treatable cancers, and promote prevention, screening and early detection. For more information, please visit the OHANCAW web site at www.OHANCAW.com. www.headandneck.org