Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week will be held from April 16 to 22. Cancers of the mouth, head, and neck affect more than 54,000 Americans every year — that’s a remarkably high number. April is observed as Oral Cancer Awareness Month, with a week dedicated especially to head and neck cancers. These cancers usually occur due to tobacco consumption, and sometimes they might be inherited too. But in recent years, oral, head, and neck cancers are also being noticed in young, non-smoking individuals who have tested positive for the H.P.V. virus. Though the virus cannot be stopped from spreading, good practices can help keep these cancers at bay.
History of Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week was started by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (H.C.N.A.) in association with the American Academy of Otolaryngology. The HC.N.A. is a non-profit organization that works with healthcare workers and organizations, patients, and survivors to ramp up efforts to prevent, treat, and detect cancers of the head and neck region. They also help patients find resources and aid in researching these cancers.
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week raises awareness about a potentially fatal disease. Since more than 50,000 Americans are detected with oral, head, and neck cancers each year, there’s an urgency to inform more people about the potentially fatal outcome of these diseases. Among many, one of the campaign’s goals is to inform people that dentists are the first responders against oral cancer — the importance of good oral health and how your dentist can save you from cancers. A study estimates that almost 8,000 people succumb to head and neck cancer every year.
Oral, head, and neck cancers usually affect the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat, or larynx. In younger, non-smoking people, oral, head, and neck cancer may also result from the H.P.V. virus. Some signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers are — change in voice, lump in the neck, oral lesions that refuse to heal, sore throat that doesn’t heal, earache, painful swallowing, and rapid and unintentional weight loss.
Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week timeline
The Egyptians record the abnormal growth of cells.
John Hunter suggests that surgery can cure certain cancers.
Karl Thiersch proves that cancers metastasize through the spread of malignant cells.
Nitrogen mustards and folic acid are used for chemotherapy.
Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week FAQs
When is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month?
April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month.
What color ribbon is for oral cancer?
People wear blue ribbons for oral cancer awareness.
What color is for head and neck cancer?
For head and neck cancers, allies were burgundy and ivory, or red and white ribbons.
How to Observe Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week
Go for a checkup
As mentioned before, regular visits to the dentist can help in the early detection of oral cancer. On, Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, visit your dentist and get a thorough checkup.
Tobacco is a leading cause of oral, head, and neck cancer. If you smoke or consume tobacco products, Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is the time to pledge to quit the habit.
Attend awareness sessions
Hospitals and community centers organize awareness programs during Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Attend a workshop or a talk to learn more about this type of cancer.
5 Important Facts About Cancer
It is a dreaded illness
One in six people around the globe dies due to cancer every year.
Age is a factor
More than 80% of cancer patients are 55 years and above.
It is a fatal illness
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death globally.
Tobacco is terrible for cancer
It is the reason for 80% of lung cancer cases.
Most common cancers for men and women
For men, it is prostate cancer, and for women, it is breast cancer.
Why Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is Important
The main objective of Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is to save lives. The week achieves that by organizing awareness drives, making resources available, and bringing medical care to the affected.
Celebrations like Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week also expel myths about the illnesses by bringing facts and data to the fore. This helps patients and caretakers determine the best course of action without falling prey to misinformation.
Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week can also help build communities where patients, caretakers, and survivors can come together to share resources and encourage each other to live a full life.
Oral Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week dates