This week is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Some doctors in Billings are offering a free screening event on Wednesday and hoping to raise awareness of these types of cancers.
One hundred and ten thousand people will be diagnosed with oral, head or neck cancer this year in the United States.
Penny Bravec is a cancer survivor of five years this week. Bravec says she noticed a sore spot on her tongue years ago. Eventually, Bravec was told that she had stage 1 tongue carcinoma. One of her fears was that she wouldn't be able to talk after surgery to remove the cancer .
Bravec said, "I can remember coming out of surgery and recovery. My daughter was there. Right away, I started talking. I'm a talker. And so, I said something, I can't even remember what I said and she just goes, 'Mom, you can talk.' And, I went, 'I can.' I'm very thankful."
Bravec's doctor is Dr. Sean Demars. He is one of the doctors providing the free screening event for oral, head and neck cancer this week. It will be on Wednesday, April 10, from 8am-12pm. Some of the potential signs of oral cancer are: persistent sores or pain in your mouth, difficulty swallowing, soreness in your throat or a change in your voice. To register for this free screening, please call 406-238-6161.