April 15, 2022
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Medical Center (Medical Offices), 1000 N. Oak Ave., Marshfield, will offer oral cancer screenings May 6.
Oral cancer is diagnosed in nearly 54,000 people in the U.S. each year, and an estimated 9,750 people will die annually of this cancer. Oral cancer can often be identified early, and with early detection, survival rates are at their highest and side effects from treatment are at their lowest.
To have an oral cancer screening, call 715-387-5245 or 800-782-8581, ext. 7-5245, to reserve an appointment. Appointments are necessary for the screening; walk-in appointments are not accepted.
The oral cancer screening is free.
“Oral cancer is becoming increasingly common and happening at an earlier age in many cases because of HPV," said Dr. Nathan Schreiber, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield. “The earlier it's detected and treated, the better the chance of cure. Thankfully, a vaccine for HPV related oral cancers is available, but should be given in early adolescence to be most effective."
What are the risk factors?
Oral cancer most often is caused in one of two ways. One way is from tobacco and alcohol. The other way from certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the U.S, and is the same virus responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.
HPV-related oral cancers more often occur in younger, otherwise healthy nonsmokers.
The good news is that a vaccine to prevent oral cancer caused by HPV is available to both females and males, ages 11-45 in a series of two or three shots. The HPV vaccine is most effective earlier in life before exposure to the HPV virus. If you are interested in HPV vaccination, please call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment.
Who should get screened?
- Adults with a history of smoking or using chewing tobacco and significant alcohol use.
- Adults with a mouth sore, lump, or pain that keeps coming back or has not healed within one month.
Who should get the oral cancer vaccine (HPV vaccine)? (Please call your primary care provider to arrange)
- All females and males ages 11-26.
- Adults with higher risk factors ages 27-45 should discuss with their doctor.
Early symptoms of oral cancer:
- Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth.
- Any sore that bleeds or does not heal within 1 month.
- Voice change that last for over 1 month.
Advanced symptoms of oral cancer:
- A sensation that something is stuck in your throat.
- New numbness in the mouth.
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Ear pain on one side only.
- A sore under a denture that, even after denture adjustment, still does not heal.
- A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth or neck.