Avera Medical Minute: Head & Neck Cancer Awareness - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Head & Neck Cancer Awareness

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Carmen Johnson discovered she had basal cell carcinoma after she was screened at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat. Carmen Johnson discovered she had basal cell carcinoma after she was screened at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat.

This year some 35,000 Americans will be diagnosed with head or neck cancer this year, a deadly cancer if not caught early. That's why preventative screenings are so important and on May 12th, 2011 Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat in Sioux Falls is offering free screenings as part of oral, head and neck cancer awareness week.  Nancy Naeve Brown met a woman who is so glad she and her husband took advantage of that last year.

Carmen Johnson and her husband Les made the trip from Mitchell to Sioux Falls last year in May to take advantage of the free head and neck cancer screenings at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat. Initially they came in to see if the brown spots on Les's head were anything to be concerned about and that trip probably saved Carmen's life.

 Carmen says, "The receptionist said would you like to be seen too? I thought well I don't have cancer but I have a mole on my cheek she could check. His exam came out perfect. She looked at my mole and said I'm not concerned about that, but I am concerned about the pearl spot on top of your nose."

ENT Dr. Bethany Helvig was fairly certain it was cancer. She removed it and the biopsy confirmed it was basal cell carcinoma which is the most common form of skin cancer.

Dr. Helvig says, "That is a very correctable process that we can remove and usually good to go. It's due to sun exposure and very common, but it can get out of hand. I've seen some pretty bad ones."    

 Carmen says, "I would have never guessed that was cancer. I always assumed cancer was brown spots with irregular edges and this was a little beaded pearl or something. I couldn't believe it was cancer. I feel so blessed it was it was removed because I don't even have scarring."

Carmen came in to Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat as a supportive wife to her husband Les, but left a skin cancer survivor.  I'd say that turned out to be pretty good "date" for the Mitchell couple who have been together 51 years!

FREE Screenings for Oral, Head and Neck Cancer
2315 W. 57th St. in Sioux Falls
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday, May 12, 2011.
Call 605-336-3503 or toll free 1-888-336-3503 to schedule your free screening



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