Skip to Content

View Additional Section Content

Published on March 18, 2015

Ellis Fischel to Offer Free Head, Neck, Oral or Thyroid Cancer Screenings

New technology offers patients more options

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will offer free head, neck, oral or thyroid cancer screenings for men and women ages 18 and older from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, April 10, on the second floor of the cancer center located at One Hospital Drive. The screenings will be conducted by members of University of Missouri Health Care’s head and neck cancer and thyroid/parathyroid multidisciplinary teams.

Reservations are required to attend the free screening. To make reservations, please contact Pam Garfias at or (573) 882-4289. Reservations must be made by Friday, April 3.

According to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, more than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with cancer of the head and neck, and approximately 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use. Early detection leads to better outcomes and greatly improves the chance of survival.

A head, neck and oral cancer screening includes a physical examination of the patient’s mouth, face and neck by an Ellis Fischel head and neck cancer specialist. The thyroid screening includes an ultrasound of the thyroid by an endocrinologist at Ellis Fischel. The screenings are painless and take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

“I would encourage every adult — especially tobacco users — to take advantage of the free screening,” said Robert Zitsch, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and a head and neck surgical oncologist. “It’s a decision that could ultimately save your life.”

The signs and symptoms of oral, head and neck cancers often go unnoticed. Some signs and symptoms that require immediate attention may include:

  • A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal or increases in size
  • Persistent pain in your mouth or jaw
  • Lumps or white, red or dark patches in your mouth
  • Thickening of the inside of your cheek
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or swelling or pain in your jaw
  • Soreness in your throat
  • Pain around your teeth or loosening of your teeth
  • Numbness of your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth
  • Changes in your voice
  • A lump in your neck

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, a part of University of Missouri Health Care, is a certified member of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Network®. Ellis Fischel Cancer Center offers patients with all types of cancers a comprehensive health team and innovative diagnostic and treatment options.