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Gwinnett Medical Center Recognizes Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

05.05.2011

Public is Urged to Take Advantage of Free Cancer Screenings

Lawrenceville, Ga.—Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) acknowledged Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, May 8-14, by offering free screenings to the public. Partnering with the Oral Head and Neck Cancer Advocacy Foundation, Inc. of Georgia and Dr. Eric Plotnick and Dr. Nancy Griner of Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, PC, GMC’s Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) provided screenings on May 6, 2011 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Gwinnett Relay for Life, Gwinnett County Fairgrounds.

Each screening was conducted by a physician and took approximately 10 minutes. During this time, physicians inserted a small mirror into the back of the mouth to examine the throat. Survivors were on-hand to share their stories and answer questions.

According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States with 50,000 cases diagnosed annually and over 12,000 deaths. OHANCAW Spokesperson Michael Douglas recently appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The View” to encourage screening.

According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco (including smokeless) and alcohol use are the most important risk factors for oral head and neck cancers particularly those of the tongue, mouth, throat and voice box. Eighty five percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. Furthermore, people who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk for developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth that provide award-winning healthcare services. GMC’s 4,200 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. Follow us at facebook.com/gwinnettmedical, twitter.com/gwinnettmedical or youtube.com/gwinnettmedical.