The Year in Review
We have had an exciting and productive year on the AHNS Cancer Prevention Service. In the past twelve months, we awarded five Community Service Awards to our members, developed an AHNS position statement on the use of tobacco, E-cigarettes and marijuana, participated in the Inaugural USvsHPV event in January, helped promote the annual Oral and Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, and are working on developing a toolkit for head and neck cancer screening and education in homeless populations, among other projects. This year, we have plans to expand on these efforts and will also initiate many new endeavors to promote the early detection and prevention of head and neck cancers.
This photo shows Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan (President of the AHNS) and Dr. Michael Moore (Chair, Cancer Prevention Service of the AHNS) at the recently held Annual Meeting of the American Cancer Society’s HPV Vaccination Roundtable in Atlanta, GA. This conference brought together stakeholders from over 70 participating organizations focused on finding ways to increase HPV vaccination rates in America. Sessions were held to highlight best practices in areas including health policy, physician recommendations, and patient and public education. Additional discussions centered around how best to combine the expertise and reach of the member organizations to raise awareness of HPV-related diseases and dispel myths surrounding HPV vaccination.
How Can You Get Involved?
AHNS Members, WE NEED YOUR HELP! One theme that has consistently come through is the lack of practitioner and public awareness of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. It is estimated that there will be approximately 19,000 new cases of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in the US this year (www.cdc.gov), making it the most common HIV-related cancer in America. However, unlike cervical cancer, there is no known premalignant precursor of these cancers and we have no effective screening protocol. As a result, these rates are likely to continue to increase, making disease prevention that much more important.
There is currently available on the AHNS Cancer Prevention website a 20-slide presentation on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer, its associated treatment and the importance of vaccination. Over the next few months, CPS members will be updating these slides and developing a narrated version that can be disseminated by members to their region’s pediatricians and primary care providers. As a part of this initiative, we also hope to provide pre- and post-presentation surveys to perform a gap analysis on these topics to see how best to educate those on the front lines in these vaccination efforts.
The Cancer Prevention Service also has plans to work with the Patient and Public Education Service as well as the Mucosal and Cutaneous Sections to develop lesion libraries to provide visual examples of benign, premalignant and malignant lesions. These resources will then be formatted to best allow them to be distributed to and used by the general public around the time of cancer screening events.
There is an evolving base of knowledge related to the role of integrative medicine in cancer prevention and management. Members of the Cancer Prevention Service will work to update the AHNS members on what is known about integrative medicine in head and neck cancer prevention.
If you have interest in getting involved in these or other projects related head and neck cancer prevention, please contact us at [email protected]. We look forward to working with you.
Michael Moore, MD
Chair, Cancer Prevention Service
Ann Gillenwater, MD
Co-Chair, Cancer Prevention Service