Doctors are offering to screen patients for any worrying symptoms during their annual effort, which coincides with European Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) Awareness Week.
The educational campaign is now in its 10th year; it runs from September 19 to 23 in cities across Poland, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The goal is to raise awareness about head and neck cancers as well as improving detection.
Prof. Wojciech Golusiński, originator of Poland’s National Head and Neck Cancer Prevention Programme, has said that patients should not be afraid of head and neck surgery because such procedures are "minimally invasive these days."
Prof. Wojciech Golusiński, originator of Poland’s National Head and Neck Cancer Prevention Programme. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
The five main symptoms identified by a group of European experts are a hoarse voice, pain while swallowing, an unexplained swelling or lump in the neck, nasal congestion, and non-healing sores in the mouth or throat, according to the IAR news agency.
If any of these symptoms persists for longer than three weeks, a person should go see a doctor immediately, experts have said.
The biggest risk factors include smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of oral hygiene, and risky sexual behaviour, according to doctors.
Every year, around 11,000 Poles are diagnosed with head and neck cancers, according to data cited by Poland's PAP news agency.
During the last decade, the number of cases has grown by more than 25 percent, the Polish state news agency reported.
Source: IAR, PAP