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Thompson Health’s Speech Pathology Department will host free screenings for oral, head and neck cancer on Friday, April 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Rehabilitation Services in the Constellation Center for Health and Healing, 350 Parrish St., Canandaigua. Screenings will be conducted by Dr. John Centonze of Finger Lakes Otolaryngology, who is donating his time to provide services at no cost to participants. This event coincides with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, which begins April 14.

Those who exhibit warning signs of oral, head and neck cancer – cancers that develop in the tongue, tonsils, sinuses, larynx (voice box), thyroid, salivary glands, on the skin of the face and neck and in the lymph nodes of the neck – are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a screening. These warning signs can include red or white patches in the mouth, vocal changes or hoarseness lasting more than two weeks, a sore throat that does not subside, pain or swelling in the mouth or neck that does not subside, a lump in the neck, ear pain and difficulty speaking, swallowing and/or breathing.

Those who smoke or use chewing tobacco – behaviors related to 85 percent of oral, head and neck cancer cases – are also encouraged to schedule a screening, as are those who consume alcohol in excess.  In addition, young adults displaying any of the aforementioned symptoms are urged to schedule a screening, as research has linked increased incidences of tongue and tonsil cancer in this traditionally low-risk population to the rise of human papillomavirus (HPV), a cancer-causing virus that can be transmitted through oral sex.

Registration is required; please call the Speech Pathology Department at (585) 396-6267 for additional information or to schedule an appointment. For more information, visit www.ThompsonHealth.com

The Constellation Center for Health and Healing is located on the north side of the main Thompson Health campus and is accessible via The Thompson Way off of West Street. Once inside the Constellation Center, please follow signs for Rehabilitation Services.

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