Cartersville, GA; March 10, 2015:     Local physicians will provide free oral, head and neck cancer screenings on Friday, April 3 from 1 until 3 p.m. at The Hope Center at Cartersville Medical Center.  Oral, head and neck cancers claim approximately 14,000 lives per year. If diagnosed early, these cancers can be more easily treated without significant complications, and the chances of survival greatly increase.

Just because you can’t feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Just ask the more than 100,000 Americans who were diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck (including thyroid) last year.  Unfortunately, many Americans do not recognize the symptoms of these life-threatening diseases, which include cancers of the oral cavity, thyroid, larynx and pharynx, and by the time they are diagnosed, for some, it’s too late.

Dr. William Thoms, Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Madhurima Uppalapati and Dr. Satyen Mehta, Medical Oncologists/Hematologists and Dr. Sanjay Athavale, Otolaryngologist will conduct the simple 10 minute test to determine the risk or presence of oral, head and neck cancers.  Please call MedLine at 800.242.5662 to register for your free oral cancer screening today.

Who should get tested?

Every adult. Tobacco and alcohol users traditionally have been considered the populations at greatest risk for these cancers.  However, oral cancer cases are on the rise in younger adults who do not smoke, and recent research indicates this development is due partly to the increase of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, a cancer-causing infection that can be transmitted by oral sex.  HPV-related oral cancers are more difficult to detect because these cancers usually occur on the back of the tongue or on the tonsils, providing even more reason to get screened regularly.

 What are the potential warning signs of oral cancers?

The signs and symptoms of oral cancer often go unnoticed.  However, there are a few visible signs associated with these cancers that require immediate attention, including:

  • A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal or that increases in size
  • Persistent pain in your mouth
  • Lumps or white or red patches inside your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Soreness in your throat or feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Changes in your voice
  • A lump in your neck

 If you have any of the above warning signs, do not wait for the free screenings. Seek medical attention immediately.

 How can someone get screened locally?

The Hope Center at Cartersville Medical Center will offer free oral cancer screenings on Friday, April 3 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.  The screening is painless and only takes about 10 minutes.  To register, call MedLine at 800.242.5662.

If you’ll be out-of-town on those dates, free screenings will be offered at more than 400 participating institutions worldwide as part of OHANCAW, which is scheduled for the week of April 12-18.  Visit for the full list of participating sites and for more information. OHANCAW is sponsored nationally by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance.

Why should someone get screened?

If the above stats weren’t reason enough, know that the screening is quick, painless and free, and it’s right around the corner. Given the current state of the economy and rising health care costs, take advantage of the opportunity to benefit from this preventive health measure at no charge by taking 10 minutes to do something that could save your life. Early diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes and chances of survival, particularly for individuals with HPV-related oral cancers.

 About Cartersville Medical Center

Cartersville Medical Center is a 112-bed acute care hospital, Chest Pain Center, Certified Primary Stroke Center and Gold Seal Inpatient Diabetes program accredited by the Joint Commission.  The Breast Imaging Center of Excellence at The Women’s Center provides mammography services that are gold seal accredited by the American College of Radiology.  The Hope Center, a regional, Commission on Cancer approved cancer treatment facility, is conveniently located on the hospital campus and provides over 4,000 treatments with over 300 new patients per year from a ten county region.

For more information about programs and services offered at Cartersville Medical Center or The Hope Center, call MedLine at (800) 242-5662 or visit