HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente welcomed over 300 attendees and provided more than 150 free cancer screenings at its annual Cancer Screening and Prevention Fair, held this morning at Waipio Medical Office.
Kaiser Permanente otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists) provided short physical exams to screen for cancers of the head and neck, which often appear as lesions or spots in the mouth, nose or throat. Risk factors for head and neck cancer include tobacco and alcohol use, so those who smoke and drink are encouraged to participate in regular screenings.
Kaiser Permanente dermatologists examined attendees for evidence of melanoma — the fifth most common cancer in Hawaii — and other types of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 490 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Hawaii this year. Like head and neck cancer, melanoma is highly curable in its earliest stages, with a five-year survival rate of 99 percent for localized melanoma.
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.
“Some types of cancers, including those of the head, neck and skin, can be prevented by reducing risk factors such as smoking, drinking or heavy exposure to sunlight. Education, lifestyle changes and early detection through screenings help save lives,” said Susan Amina, APRN, cancer care coordinator at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “We’re glad to see so many attendees taking steps toward better health, which includes taking part in preventive care and screenings like mammograms, fecal occult testing and Pap smears.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that Hawaii will see 6,280 new cancer diagnoses and 2,580 cancer-related deaths in 2018; 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 is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share. cancerSusan Amina, APRN,