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Media Contact: Janet Christenbury 15 April 2008    
  (404) 727-8599   Print  | Email ]

Emory Schedules Free Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Screenings
Emory Healthcare is urging Atlantans to take part in free screenings during 2008 Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, April 21-27.

Details for the free screenings at Emory

Two screenings at two locations:

Screening 1

Monday, April 21, 2008 7:30 a.m. -- 5 p.m.

The Emory Voice Center at Emory Crawford Long Hospital 550 Peachtree Street 9th floor Atlanta, GA 30308

Screening 2

Friday, April 25, 2008 1 p.m. -- 4 p.m.

The Emory Clinic Clinic B -- Suite 2300 -- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 1365 Clifton Rd.

How - for both screenings:
Please call Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777 to sign up for either screening.

Lori Hamilton, Wife of NASCAR Legend Bobby Hamilton, Urges Importance of Screenings

ATLANTA -- Lori Hamilton, wife of NASCAR racing legend Bobby Hamilton, who passed away last year from complications of head and neck cancer, is urging Atlantans to take part in free screenings during 2008 Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, April 21-27. Emory Healthcare will host two free screenings during this awareness week.

On Monday, April 21, oral, head and neck screenings will take place at the Emory Voice Center at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. Lori Hamilton will be on site during this screening to promote the importance of these screenings. A second screening will be held on Friday, April 25 in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at The Emory Clinic.

Bobby Hamilton, the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series champion and four-time winner of the Cup series, died in January 2007 after a long battle with head and neck cancer. He was 49 years old.

"When Bobby was diagnosed, he immediately became an advocate of early detection of head and neck cancer," says 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, it's 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."

"We are so honored to have Lori present at the Emory Voice Center's screening site this year," says Edie Hapner, PhD, director of Speech Language Pathology at the Emory Voice Center. Hapner is leading screenings at the center this year. "We know her dedication and devotion to the mission of early detection will be echoed throughout Atlanta and across the country during Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, in memory of her late husband."

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 (voice box) and pharynx (throat). Of that number, 7,550 will die.

"Early detection is key in diagnosing and treating oral, head and neck cancers, and this early diagnosis greatly increases the chances of survival," says Steven Roser, DMD, MD, DeLos Professor and Chief, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. "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."

Roser serves as medical director of the Georgia Chapter of the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation and is leading the screening at The Emory Clinic on April 25.

Oral, head and neck cancer refers to a variety of cancers that develop in the head and neck region, such as the oral cavity (mouth); the throat; paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity; the voice box; thyroid and salivary glands; the skin of the face and neck; and the lymph nodes in the neck. Common warning signs of these cancers include:

  • Red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks
  • Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than t wo 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:

  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

The best means to reduce risk for oral, head and neck cancer are to avoid or stop three risky habits: smoking, 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 human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).

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