Community Benefit Stories
Free Screening Raises Awareness of Head and Neck Cancer
Shocked by a diagnosis of Stage 4 tongue cancer, survivor Jay Walt shared his story at a free head and neck cancer screening event sponsored by Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin. His advice: Don’t wait. Get those lumps and bumps checked out.
When money is tight, it’s easy to let preventive healthcare slide—like routine physicals and dental visits, where oral cancer symptoms can be caught early. Head and neck cancer affects about 45,000 people in the US every year. Anyone, young or old, smoker or non-smoker, can develop the disease. It’s highly curable if found early, but symptoms usually don’t appear until the disease is advanced. It can have devastating impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting the ability to talk, eat or swallow.
That’s why Froedtert & The Medical College offered the free screening in April in connection with national Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Seventy-four people were checked during the four-hour event at the Froedtert & Medical College Clinical Cancer Center. One was referred for immediate consultation; 18 were advised to have further evaluation by a physician; and four were referred to a dentist. In addition to the free screening, physical and occupational therapists, an audiologist, palliative care specialist, speech pathologist, nutritionist and nurses staffed educational booths.
The monetary value of the 74 screenings is approximately $12,200. Froedtert & The Medical College physicians, nurses, medical assistants and support staff donated time and supplies to the screening.
Beyond making care available to those who may not be able to afford it, publicity for the event helped educate a larger audience about head and neck cancer, its symptoms and the need for routine screenings.
Last Review Date: Oct. 23, 2009
Online Editor(s): Richard Petre