Existing cancer awareness campaigns can be a very useful tool when trying to raise proton therapy awareness. They give you an opportunity to highlight possible treatments for those cancers and the potential benefits of proton therapy. April is both Head, Neck & Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. So, here are a few facts about each to help you spread the word using your social media feeds or just good old-fashioned conversation!
Head, Neck & Oral Cancer
Head, neck & oral cancer is a collective term for several different types of cancer that usually form in the squamous cells lining the inside of the head, neck, and mouth. Cancers that begin in the salivary glands, sinuses, or muscles and nerves of the head and neck are also included in this category but are far less common.
- Account for almost 4% of all cancers in the U.S.
- Men are more than twice as likely to develop than women
- Most common among people older than age 50
- An estimated 68,000 Americans were diagnosed in 2021
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of head, neck & oral cancer often go unnoticed, but there are a few visible signs often associated with these cancers:
- Red or white patch in the mouth
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness or a change in the voice
- Lump in the neck or growth in the mouth
- Coughing up blood
- Swallowing problems
- Changes in the skin
- Persistent earache
Proton Therapy Awareness for Head, Neck & Oral Cancer
Raise proton therapy awareness by sharing information about the treatment options for head, neck & oral cancer. When treating these cancers, it’s critical to protect the delicate organs that surround the tumor. Depending on the size of the tumor, a combination of treatment methods can be used, including radiation therapy and surgery. With traditional radiation therapy, which uses x-rays, nearby vulnerable structures like the brain, spinal cord, swallowing muscles, and jawbone may be exposed to unnecessary radiation.
The precision of proton therapy allows physicians to deliver the prescribed radiation dose to the targeted area of the head, neck, or mouth, while avoiding unnecessary radiation to healthy tissue. This minimizes damage to vital organs and lowers the risk of side effects during and after treatment.
How You Can Help
Share this infographic with your social network to raise awareness of the risk factors for head, neck, and oral cancer.
While some risk factors are uncontrollable, like gender and age, many of them are preventable. Spread the word about the steps a person can take to greatly reduce their chances of developing a head, neck, or oral cancer. These include:
- Eliminate tobacco use
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Minimize sun exposure and using sunscreen
- If 26 years old or younger, consult a physician about the HPV vaccine
- Perform monthly self-exams
- Regularly visit your dentist and physician, asking for head, neck, and oral exams
- Discuss risk factors and family history with your physician
Testicular Cancer almost always starts in the germ cells of the testicle, which are the cells that produce immature sperm. There are two main types of testicular cancer: seminomas and nonseminomas. In addition, other cancers may start elsewhere (e.g. lymphoma, leukemia) and spread to the testicle. These are known as secondary testicular cancers.
Although testicular cancer is rare and accounts for only one percent of cancers in men, it remains the most common cancer diagnosed in men ages 15-35. When detected early, it is one of the most treatable and curable forms of cancer.
- 1 in 250 males will develop during their lifetime
- Average age of diagnosis is 33 years old
- An estimated 9,910 new cases will be diagnosed in 2022
- 1 in 5000 men die from this cancer, a relatively high survival rate
- 95% curable when detected early
Signs & Symptoms
The most common symptom associated with testicular cancer is swelling or discomfort in the scrotum. However, men who experience any of the following symptoms are encouraged to speak with their physician:
- Painless lump or swelling in either testicle
- Change in how the testicle feels
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
Proton Therapy Awareness for Testicular Cancer
Raise proton therapy awareness by sharing information about the treatment options for testicular cancer, which depend on the type and stage of the cancer, but can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Some treatments can cause infertility. Patients should talk with their physician about options to preserve fertility or bank their sperm. If radiation therapy is prescribed, it’s important to consider the benefits of proton therapy.
Proton therapy can precisely target the tumor, protecting the bladder, small intestine, stomach and prostate from unnecessary radiation. Men will generally be able to maintain their quality of life during treatment, while also reaping long-term benefits. Compared to traditional x-ray radiation therapy, proton therapy lowers the risk of infertility and negative effects on sperm count. It also minimizes the risk of developing a secondary cancer later in life.
How You Can Help
Awareness and early detection are key! Spread the word and share this information with your friends, family, and social network.
It’s important for men to perform a self-exam once a month. If they notice a lump, bump, or anything that just doesn’t feel right, the best thing they can do is see a doctor.
Share this video to your Facebook page to help raise awareness about the importance of monthly self-exams.