Cassidy: Hi there! (Today we are talking about)…eating healthier, getting more sleep, taking vitamins, going therapy, going to the doctor. So, we have a real live doctor here in the studio. Dr. Bell from Providence Cancer Institute. You’re going to lead me through one really easy way that people can do to be mindful of their health right? Kind of getting ahead of things?

Dr. Bell: Sure.

Cassidy: Because next week you guys are doing free screenings of a certain type that people can come to get from you guys?

Dr. Bell: That’s right, Cassidy. So, there are about 50,000 Americans in the United States that are diagnosed each year with head and neck cancer. That’s cancer of the mouth, the throat, the voice box, while the majority of them are caused by heavy smoking and heavy drinking, there’s a significant minority of these are caused by Human Papilloma Virus and that’s the cause for an increasing rate of throat cancer amongst men and women.

Cassidy: Wow, both men and women?

Dr. Bell: That’s right and so we’re going to be screening for head and neck cancer, oral and neck cancers at the Providence Cancer Center next Wednesday, April 24th. It’s a simple example exam. I’ll demonstrate to you if you don’t mind.

Cassidy: Yeah! If you’re watching at home we don’t have any, like crazy equipment besides all the things in the studio. Oh, sure! Director Jay over here is throwing me a lovely hospital gown but actually, we don’t need this, right?

Dr. Bell: Nope.

Cassidy: We don’t need any fancy equipment, we don’t need this gown. 

Dr. Bell: No, we don’t.

Cassidy: Should I wear it anyway? You sure, it’s fine?

Dr. Bell: You could put it on.

Cassidy: I mean, why not? Yeah. Zach, behind the camera. Now, we’re testing my skills of how to put on a hospital gown. Oh gosh! You know, we’re doing great! This is why Dr. Bell is doing the screening. Goes this way? Yeah? Okay.

Dr. Bell: Perfect. 

Cassidy: There we go! I’m ready to be screened.

Dr. Bell: So, we’ll come behind you, we’ll feel your neck and we’re gonna feel your lymph nodes. One of the most common signs or symptoms of head and neck cancer is a lump in the neck.

Cassidy: Oh.

Dr. Bell: We’re gonna feel for lumps in your thyroid or enlargement of your thyroid, we’re gonna look in your mouth for lesions, lumps, red and white lesions.

Cassidy: Oh gosh, I’m sorry that was a close-up.

Dr. Bell: And so, it’s a very very simple screening but what it is as much as anything is access to the health system for many patients who may be scared or maybe lack insurance or be underinsured, this is a great way to get access to the health system. And if you’re worried or high-risk, we really want you to come by. Get screened, it’s simple. The other thing that I want to say is that I mentioned that there is an increasing rate of HPV related throat cancer in the United States, there is a vaccine to prevent HPV related cancers or HPV infection, I should say. The CDC recommends that boys and girls get vaccinated between the age of 11 and 12 all the way to the late 20s. And so, if there’s a message here it’s, gets vaccinated and get screened next week.

Cassidy: Yes! So, April 24th that is next Wednesday and you can find out more at providenceoregon.org/ohn like oral head and neck, right?
Cancer Screening. Thank you so much, Dr. Bell. I feel ready to take on the world, I’m extra healthy.