RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Would you know how to detect a head or neck cancer? This month VCU Massey Cancer Center is offering free screenings to help.
Bromby Earle is celebrating her clean bill of health. It's been more than a decade in the making. In December 2006, Earle was diagnosed with a rare stage 4 head and neck cancer four years after she was first treated for pain.
"Citrus foods that would cause produce saliva and ache in the side of my neck," Earle says as she describes her symptoms.
To this day, doctors don't know what caused Earle's tumor because she didn't have any of the risk factors. A family history, tobacco and alcohol use are the most common. There's also an increasing link to Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.
"The virus produces certain proteins that turn off tumor suppressor genes in their bodies," explains Dr. Niklaus Eriksen, a head and neck cancer surgeon at VCU Massey Cancer Center. "Cells can grow without check and form tumors."
Eriksen goes on to say that you often can't see the tumor, and they produce symptoms that shouldn't be ignored: problems with swallowing, a hoarse voice, a lingering sore throat. Any new lump on the neck or in the throat needs further screening.
"It could be something, or it might be nothing," says Earle who now works to spread the message of early detection.
VCU Massey Cancer Center is offering free screenings at these locations on the dates mentioned. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended.
Friday, April 18, 2014
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
MCV Physicians at Temple Ave.
2035 Waterside Dr., Ste. 100
Thursday, April 24, 2014
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Massey Cancer Center - Dalton Oncology Clinic
1300 E. Marshall St.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond