UT Physicians Otorhinolaryngology – Texas Medical Center, which is staffed by faculty members in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, offered a free cancer screening clinic on Apr. 7, 2017, in observance of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, sponsored by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.

“Oral, throat, head and neck cancers claim approximately 14,000 lives each year,” says Ron Karni, MD, chief of the division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School and an associate professor in the department. “Given the rise in oral cancers, screening for early detection of the disease is more important than ever. If diagnosed early, these cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase.”

Oral cancer cases are on the rise in younger adults, due in part to the prevalence of the human papillomavirus (HPV). “HPV-related throat, head and neck cancers are more difficult to detect because these cancers occur on the back of the tongue or on the tonsils, underscoring the importance of screening,” says Kunal Jain, MD, a fellowship-trained head and neck surgeon who with Dr. Karni typically screens about 100 patients as part of the annual event.