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Lenox Hill Hospital Participates in Annual Head and Neck Cancer Screening

Lenox Hill Hospital’s Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery participated in the Nationwide 14th Annual Oral Head and Neck Cancer awareness week, by holding an all day screening event.
The screening, held annually in May is sponsored by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance to raise awareness of Oral, Head and neck Cancers which is the sixth-most-common form of cancer in the United States with 40,000 cases diagnosed annually.

Oral, head and neck cancers are the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States with 40,000 cases are diagnosed annually. Tobacco and alcohol use are the most important risk factors for head and neck cancers with 85% percent of cases linked to tobacco use. Over the past decade, an increasing number of young, non-smokers have developed mouth and throat cancer associated with the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Today, 25 percent, or 10,000 cases each year, might be attributable to a strain of HPV.

This year awareness was risen by Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, who is recovering from a battle with throat cancer and urged Americans to get screened for cancer during the 14th annual Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week being held nationwide.

“We are proud to be part of this important cause and we made a commitment to screen an even  larger number of patients next year,” said Gady Har-El, MD, Chairman of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, noting that “of the 61 patients from all five boroughs and Long Island who participated in the screening, five were referred for routine follow up with their otolaryngologist; 14 were referred to other specialists such as dentists, dermatologists, neurologists and periodontists in order to follow up on medical conditions unrelated to head and neck oncology; seven needed further evaluations with head and neck specialists, and four were found to have suspicious neoplastic lesions and immediate appointments for in-depth evaluations were arranged.”  The screening also revealed that 50% of those who participated in the screening had significant health risks, which were found during screening and appropriately referred for care. 

Dr. Har-El stressed the fact that people who are at risk or have symptoms of cancer should not wait to be evaluated.  “These tests can be routinely performed by your otolaryngologist or head and neck specialist,” he said.