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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did You Know We're In the Midst of 'Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week'? Is This a Rhetorical Question?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 8:30 AM

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If you had your head in the sand regarding Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week, you can be forgiven -- it's easy to get distracted what with this being the week alloted to infertility and crime victims and the month to be aware of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autism, and Cesareans (the C-section, presumably, and not emperors of Rome).
 
While we're not sure how locals will publicly mark the C-Section, U.C. San Francisco -- along with institutions in around 150 other cities -- is offering free oral, head, and neck cancer screenings on Friday. Drop-ins are encouraged at 2380 Sutter Street from 9 a.m. to noon for examinations by the school's Department of Otolaryngology (guess what they do).

While smokers and drinkers are the usual suspects, instances of Oropharyngeal cancer are on the rise among young adults who do not smoke nor drink to excess. And researchers blame -- sex!


A boost in the cancer-inducing human papillomavirus (HPV) infection -- which can be spread by oral sex -- has been associated with cancer in the aforementioned demographic. Compounding the problem, cancer associated with HPV isn't easy to detect, as it often festers on the tonsils or back of the tongue (doctors, naturally, suggest folks get screened regularly).

Kicking off next week, incidentally, are the awareness weeks for arson, composting, and severe storms (in Connecticut). No word on how UCSF will mark that.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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