Cancer: Head and Neck Screening Day

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Transcript:

Guest: Terry A. Day, M.D. Head and Neck Surgeon
Guest: Mr. Pax Darlington
Cancer Survivor
Host: Linda Austin, M.D. - Psychiatrist 

Linda Austin, M.D.

I am Dr. Linda Austin. I am interviewing Dr. Terry Day and Mr. Pax Darlington. Dr. Day is a head and neck surgeon at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and Mr. Pax Darlington is a cancer survivor. Welcome to the show. Its very exciting that April is a special month and there will be a screening for oral, head, and neck cancer at the Medical University and at other sites as well. Terry, can you tell us about the screening?

Dr. Terry A. Day

Yes, we have been doing the screening here at MUSC for the past eight years and last year, I think we had our largest participations statewide with over 40 sites offering free oral, head, and neck cancer screenings to the South Carolina public and at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care at Rutledge Tower; there will be free screenings, the Friday of Oral, Head, And Neck Cancer Awareness Week . This year and forever until we can cure this disease and prevent it and that the public can call (843) 792-1414 to find out that how to make an appointment and get in for this free screening.

Linda Austin, M.D.

So this year 2007, it will be the date of that will be

Dr. Terry A. Day

The date for this awareness week in 2007 is Friday April 20, 2007, and the screening lasts from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and it is for mouth cancers, throat cancers, neck cancers, thyroid cancers, and salivary gland cancers.

Linda Austin, M.D.

As a doctor, how do you go about screening for these cancers?

Dr. Terry A. Day

It is very simple, it is very painless, and it only takes a few minutes and its so simple that a lot of people overlook it and it just requires looking in the mouth, looking in the throat with a light, feeling the salivary glands, the thyroid gland, and the neck lymph nodes a nd any sign of any knot or abnormality, for example in the tongue, a red or white patch that has lasted for more than two weeks, for the throat, change in the voice that has lasted from more than two weeks , or in the neck, a knot that has lasted for more than two weeks, should be evaluated by a physician or a dentist.

Linda Austin, M.D.

Are there any groups of people who are at particularly high risk for these cancers?

Dr. Terry A. Day

That's interesting. Over the years, people associate smoking and chewing tobacco along with alcohol with most mouth and throat cancers; however, over the past 10 years, there has been an increasing incidence in young people without any tobacco history and many researchers now believe that there is an association with human Papillomavirus, HPV. Human Papillomavirus has been associated over the years with cervical cancer and I believe the FDA has just approve d the first vaccine for cervical cancer in females. On the other hand, thyroid cancers can arise in anybody. There often is a family history or exposure to radiation in people with thyroid cancers and salivary gland cancers also do not seem to be particularly associated with any particular cause.

Linda Austin, M.D.

Mr. Darlington, you have an interesting story, I know about how your thyroid cancer was first picked up, can you tell us that story?