WAIPAHU, Hawaii – Kaiser Permanente held its annual Cancer Screening and Prevention Fair for members of the public this morning at Waipio Medical Office, providing more than 100 free exams to screen for cancers of the head, neck and skin.
Kaiser Permanente physicians conducted head and neck screenings, painless physical exams checking for lesions or lumps that could indicate sinus, lip, mouth, thyroid, throat, larynx and other oral cancers. Tobacco and alcohol use are well-known risk factors for cancers of the head and neck, as is human papilloma virus (or HPV). While more than 49,000 new cases in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed in 2017, head and neck cancer is highly treatable if diagnosed at an early stage.
Kaiser Permanente dermatologists and physician assistants examined attendees for evidence of melanoma — the fifth most common cancer in Hawaii — and other types of skin cancer. This year, an estimated 460 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Hawaii, and 87,110 cases nationwide, according to the American Cancer Society. Like head and neck cancer, melanoma is highly curable in its earliest stages, with a five-year survival rate of 98 percent for localized melanoma.
“Regular screenings save lives. Many common cancers can be successfully treated if they are caught early,” said Susan Amina, APRN, cancer care nursing supervisor at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “It’s important to speak with your doctor about your risk factors and recommendations for routine screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, skin examinations and Pap smears, to increase your chances of early detection.”
In addition to screening exams, attendees had a chance to speak with tobacco cessation counselors and members of Kaiser Permanente’s prevention and education department, to receive tips on quitting smoking, improving nutrition, sun protection and living an overall healthy lifestyle.
The American Cancer Society estimates that Hawaii will see 6,540 new cancer diagnoses and 2,520 cancer-related deaths in 2017; breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types in the state. Regular screenings, education and an awareness of risk factors all contribute toward detecting cancer in its early stages, when survival rates are often significantly higher.
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for nearly 60 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at Facebook.com/KPHawaii and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.