Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2016) – 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, and by the time they are diagnosed, for some, it’s too late.

Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 14,000 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 associated with these cancers 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?

Specialists from Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Temple Head & Neck Institute will offer free oral cancer screenings in observance of the 19th annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) taking place April 12 through April 15. The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes.  If you’ll be out-of-town on those dates, free screenings will be offered at more than 400 participating institutions worldwide as part of OHANCAW, which is scheduled for the week of April 10-16.  Visit www.OHANCAW.com for the full list of participating sites and for more information. OHANCAW is sponsored nationally by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. 

Why should I get screened?

If the above stats weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free, and it’s right around the corner. Given the current state of the economy and rising health care 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 215-707-3852 to sign up for your free oral cancer screening today.

April 12, 2016
8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Jeanes Hospital
Rehab Department, 2nd Floor
Patient Care Center
7600 Central Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

April 13, 2016
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm 

Temple Health Ft. Washington
2nd Floor
515 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034

April 14, 2016
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Fox Chase Cancer Center
Young Pavilion, H&N Clinic
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

April 15, 2016
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Temple University Hospital
Boyer Pavilion, 6th Floor
3509 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140


For More Information:


Media Inquiries Only:

Jeremy Walter

About the Temple Head & Neck Institute:

The Temple Head & Neck Institute features a multidisciplinary team of specialists from both the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and Fox Chase Cancer Center who offer advanced testing and treatments for benign and malignant conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck – including speech and swallowing disorders, thyroid abnormalities, hearing and balance disorders, allergies and sinus disorders, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and head/neck cancers. By combining these services of Temple’s ENT and cancer specialists, audiologists and speech pathologists into one program, the Institute enhances collaboration and care among the clinical teams and provides truly integrated specialty services – from the simplest to the most complex and from benign to pre-cancerous to cancerous.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

For more information, call 888-369-2427

About Temple University Health System

Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.6 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research.   The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH); TUH – Jeanes Campus; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center;  Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. 

TUHS is affiliated with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. The Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), established in 1901, is one of the nation’s leading medical schools.  Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 840 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Temple University School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.  TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.