Free Oral Cancer Screening Exams

UT MD Anderson to provide free exams on April 25

MD Anderson News Release 04/10/2014

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will offer free oral cancer screening exams to the public on Friday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Cancer Prevention Center at the Duncan Building. The building is located on the MD Anderson campus within the Texas Medical Center at 1155 Pressler Street, Floor 2.

Doctors will conduct a clinical examination of the mouth to check for oral cancers. These cancers have been linked to cigarette use, cigar or pipe smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco, and excessive use of alcohol.

The 5-year survival rate for these cancers is approximately 50 percent. Mortality from oral cancer is nearly twice as high in some minorities (especially black males) as it is in Caucasian adults. Early detection is key to increasing the survival rate for these cancers.

These exams will be offered to the first 200 people. Appointments are not available for these free screenings and screening exams are offered on a first come, first served basis.

“Anyone can get oral cancer. It often presents as a mass or a non-healing sore,” says Ann Gillenwater, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Head and Neck Surgery. “Using tobacco and alcohol can significantly increase a person’s chance of developing a head and neck cancer. People at high risk for these cancers should speak with their doctor about ways to reduce their risks, as well as how often to have checkups.”

A primary care physician or dentist can perform a thorough head and neck exam during regular checkups. People are encouraged to inform a dentist or doctor about any unusual or abnormal areas, sores or bumps in your mouth.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, says the American Institute for Cancer Research. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancers each year, and more than 7,000 people die from these cancers.

Along with offering a wide range of screening and early detection services, MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center offers personalized risk-reduction strategies and prevention programs.

Parking is available in the Mays Clinic. From Holcombe Boulevard, turn south on Bertner Entrance 5 and enter the parking garage on your right. Take the parking garage elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to the Cancer Prevention Center. Parking rates vary depending on length of stay, with a $10 maximum. Payment can be made by cash or credit card.