Mass. Eye and Ear Offers Free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings

April 08, 2011

Contact: Public Affairs
Ph: 617-573-3340

Boston – (April 8, 2011) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary will be holding free Head and Neck Cancer Screenings on Friday, May 13, 2011 at the main hospital, 243 Charles Street, Boston Mass.

Mass. Eye and Ear, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology, is sponsoring free oral, head and neck cancer screenings from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13 in an effort to increase awareness of this cancer which is not commonly known. Oral and other head and neck cancers remain a target for early detection. When diagnosed very early, they are easy to treat and cure. These screenings are open to the public. To reserve a space, call 617-573-4084. The screening will take place during the 14th annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, May 8-14.

According to the American Cancer Society, head and neck cancers represent the sixth most common form of cancer in the U.S., with more than 50,000 cases diagnosed annually and over 12,000 deaths.

The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance list the following common warning signs on their website.

  • Red or white patch in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks
  • Change in voice or hoarseness that lasts more than two weeks
  • Sore throat that does not subside
  • Pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside
  • Lump in the neck

Later stages signs of the disease include:

  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

Academy Award-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas, who is recovering from a battle with throat cancer, is urging Americans to get screened for cancer during Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW). “My experience has taught me the importance of early detection and diagnosis to successful treatment and a positive outcome,” said Mr. Douglas to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. “I applaud the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance for raising awareness of oral, head and neck cancer and opening the door to free cancer screenings at local facilities throughout our country during OHANCAW. The screening is quick, painless and free, so I am encouraging everyone to take advantage of this opportunity that could save your life. Do it for your family.”

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit