Low Public Awareness of Head/Neck Cancer

cancer cell made in 3d softwarePublic awareness of head and neck cancer (HNC) is low, with few Americans knowing much about risk factors such as tobacco use and human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery (June 5, 2014).

HNC is the 10th most common cancer in the U.S, according to a Yale University School of Medicine press release. It is a potentially preventable disease with about 75% of cases caused by tobacco use. In recent years, HPV has been established as a risk factor for HNC.

An online study of 2,126 adults conducted in 2013 found that some 66% of the participants were “not very” or “not at all” knowledgeable about HNC. Smoking and chewing or spitting tobacco were identified by 54.5% and 32.7%, respectively, of respondents as risk factors for mouth and throat cancer. Only 0.8% of respondents identified HPV as a risk factor.

Awareness of HNC is low compared with other cancers, which is concerning given the importance of risk factor avoidance and modification, as well as early patient detection, as drivers of prevention and improved outcomes, the Yale researchers concluded.

Original content HERE.

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