Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FREE Oral Screenings

The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center at GBMC is offering FREE oral screenings on Tuesday, April 22.

Appointments begin at 3:30 p.m.

This screening is especially good for people using tobacco and/or alcohol products. 

Please register through the Screening Line at 443-849-3080. Learn more: http://bit.ly/QiiCdV

Monday, March 31, 2014

Resources, links and other information available for you.

Periodical-on-line journals
Journal of the American Medical Association
Oncology Issues

Other Journal Information
Journal of Fluency Disorders

Advocacy Sites
Tobacco Free - Education for people of all ages on smoking and tobacco use

Cancer (General) Sites
American Cancer Society
Cancer Care. Source for information, resources, and services available to cancer patients.
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). Grassroots network of individuals and organizations working on behalf of people with all types of cancer.

Caregiver Sites 
National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) Addresses common needs of all family caregivers.
Well Spouse Foundation. A site for well spouses who face the same problems of anger, guilt, fear, isolation, grief and financial threat, whether they are full-time caregivers or whether their partners have only moderately disabling illnesses.
Partnership for Caring: America's Voices for the Dying is a coalition of individual consumers, consumer organizations, health care professionals and health care organizations advocating for needed changes in professional and public policy and health care systems to improve care for dying persons and their families.

Social Security. The official website of the social security administration. Information on disability, Medicare and how to apply for services.

Head and Neck Cancer Related Sites 
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
American Brain Tumor Association: Learn about the latest treatments, research, support resources as well as ABTA events
Cancer of the Larynx. Information, support and assistance for cancer of the larynx patients.
Cancer of the Larynx Information. This center provides information from the International Association of Laryngectomees (IAL). Includes resources for obtaining assistance and support from local organizations, where to find qualified speech pathologists and other events of interest. Has information on the association's listserv "web whispers".
Thyroid Cancer. An excellent site for information on types of thyroid cancer and treatment.
National Oral Cancer Awareness Program (NOCAP). A resource for professionals and the public.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Speech and Swallowing
The American Speech-Language Hearing
Electronic Speech Enhancement. Information on the ESE device for individuals with neuromuscular impairment and other voice/speech disorders.

Support Sites
WebWhispers Nu Voice Club - An active international Email-based online laryngectomee support group with a Newsletter and a Loaner Closet.
Support for People with Head and Neck Cancer. A patient directed self-help organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Oral and Head and Neck Cancer patients.

Cancer Care - Source for information, resources, and services, online support groups.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Head and Neck Cancer

My husband had surgery to remove a stage 4 cancerous growth last Monday. On our return appointment the Dr recommended radiation for 7 weeks followed by chemotherapy. They found cancer in the left tonsil and 4 lymph nodes. 

Should my husband seek a second opinion for this follow up therapy? Which Dr would you suggest he see?

Thank you.

Joseph Califano, MD, F.A.C.S. replies...

Without the specific details of your husbands history and operative pathology, it is difficult to give a precise answer your question. However, there are a few general guidelines that can be helpful. For squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil with multiple (two or greater) metastases to the neck on the same side of the tumor treated with surgical excision and neck dissection, it is generally accepted that postoperative radiation therapy is given after surgery. Chemotherapy is recommended as an addition to postoperative radiation therapy if the margins on the tonsil resection are close or positive, meaning that the tumor is close to or at the edge of the tonsil tissue that was removed by your surgeon. In addition, chemotherapy is recommended in addition to radiation after surgery if the lymph nodes removed show something called "extra capsular spread" or that the tumor has invaded outside the capsule of one or more lymph nodes. Finally, some physicians recommend the addition of chemotherapy to postoperative radiation therapy if patients have many lymph nodes (four would qualify as many) or if the lymph nodes are a large size. These guidelines for radiation with or without chemotherapy after surgery are based on two large trials, one in Europe and one in the United States, that were well run and have high quality data.

Joseph Califano, MD, F.A.C.S.
Head & Neck Surgeon
Johns Hopkins Head & Neck Surgery located at GBMC

Monday, February 3, 2014

For Caregivers of Head & Neck Cancer Patients-Survivors

Welcome Caregivers. Your support means so much!

This section is dedicated to loved ones, friends, and children who participate in the care of a person with head and neck cancer.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, the dynamics of relationships and families are impacted. Caregivers are forced sometimes to change roles, adjust schedules, change or drop out of activities. We hope to provide you with information, resources and support to help you cope and provide care.

Please visit our:
If you are interested in a particular topic which is not represented, please email us.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Self Exam

A quick and easy way to help you help yourself.
Finding oral cancer early is important so that it can be treated promptly. Some forms of oral cancer can be seen during monthly self-examinations.  Warning signs of head and neck tumors include:
  • A sore, lump or thickening in the mouth
  • A white or red patch
  • A sore throat that does not heal
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Hoarseness that does not go away
  • A feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
  • A lump in the neck
  • Numbness in the mouth, face or neck
  • Seat yourself in front of a well-lit mirror. Remove any partials, dentures, or dental retainers that may be in your mouth.
1. Check your neck for lumps or swellings.Check your neck for lumps or swellings
2.  Look at your lips. Pull your lower lip down, then lift your upper lip. Look at your lips
3.  Pull back both cheeks and look inside.Pull back both cheeks and look inside
4.  Gently bite down and look at your gums. Note any swelling, growths, or areas of discoloration.Gently bite down and look at your gums
5.  Open your mouth widely and look at the back of your tongue and roof of your mouth.Look at the back of your tongue and roof of your mouth
6. Stick out your tongue and look at the top and sides. Move the tongue side to side. Touch your tongue on the roof of your mouth and look undereneath your tongue.Stick out your tongue and look at the top and sides

If you have noted anything unusual during this exam, please contact your primary care physician, otolaryngologist, or other oral health specialist.