News Release

April 1, 2005

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

FREE Screenings for Oral & Head and Neck Cancers: April 11th at UConn Health Center

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Men and women over 35, especially those who smoke or chew tobacco, consume alcohol on a regular basis or have a family history of head and neck cancers, are strongly encouraged to participate in a free screening for oral cancer and head and neck cancers on Monday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.

Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call the Health Center at 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692.

“More than 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use, making this one of the most preventable diseases of our time,” said Jeffrey Spiro, M.D., an ear, nose and throat specialist at the Health Center who is part of a team of experts who care for patients with head and neck cancers. “For smokers or former smokers, regular screenings for head and neck cancers are vitally important,” he said.

Screenings take just minutes and include a few brief questions and an examination of the neck, mouth, lips, throat and the skin of the head and neck region. Dr. Spiro will be joined by Ellen Eisenberg, D.M.D., director of oral and maxillofacial pathology, who is also part of the head and neck cancer team. UConn offers complete care for patients with head and neck cancers, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, rehabilitation, nutrition and more.

The most important step, experts agree, is early detection. “Today, our most effective means of ensuring a favorable outlook for cancers of the mouth and cancers of the head and neck is to detect and diagnose these lesions in the earliest possible stages. That is what regular screening examinations aim to accomplish,” Dr. Eisenberg added.

The screenings are being sponsored by the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation – a national organization devoted to supporting head and neck cancer patients, educating the public on prevention and treatment, as well as providing support for ongoing research efforts. The Foundation was established in memory of Yul Brynner, an award-winning actor who died in 1985 of lung cancer after overcoming a pre-malignant growth on his voice box.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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