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HomescienceGreen July: Head and Neck Cancer Cases in SC Expected to Double...

Green July: Head and Neck Cancer Cases in SC Expected to Double This Year

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Inca predicts that the number of cases in SC could double by 2024 (Image: Image Bank)

In Santa Catarina, 1,390 new cases of head and neck cancer are expected in 2024, according to the National Cancer Institute (INCA). There are currently 771 patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer in the state, according to the Ministry of Health’s oncology team. The total includes cancers of the oral cavity, thyroid and larynx. In Florianópolis, the state capital, 330 new cases have been estimated.

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If the total includes melanoma and skin cancer, which also affect the head and neck area, the number of patients diagnosed in Santa Catarina rises to 2,707.

Green July promotes the importance of head and neck cancer prevention

Causes and Symptoms

According to the INCA, head and neck cancer includes “a range of malignant tumors that can arise in the mouth, pharynx, larynx (vocal cords), nose, sinuses, nasopharynx, orbit, neck, and thyroid gland.”

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The most common risk factors, according to the organization, are smoking, alcohol consumption (which accounts for 80% of cases) and infection with the human papillomavirus. In addition, poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition also have an impact on the appearance of the tumor.

Symptoms include:

  • Emergence of a doctrine.
  • a wound that will not heal;
  • Sore throat for a long time.
  • Difficulty swallowing, voice changes or hoarseness.

Inca offers a warning: Symptoms, although likely to be caused by other clinical conditions, when they persist for more than 21 days, may be a sign of a tumor.

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Gilberto Vaz Teixeira, head and neck sector coordinator at the Oncology Research Center (Cebón), a state government unit, warns of some symptoms.

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— In skin cancer, the sign is a sore on the skin, a dark spot or a wound that doesn't heal, usually in areas exposed to the sun. He explains that in the case of oral cancer, patients tend to refer to the wounds as mouth ulcers at first, but they don't heal.

He also points out that the general duration of this healing is three weeks.

In throat cancer, a person will have difficulty swallowing, choking, and spitting up blood. In laryngeal cancer, symptoms include hoarseness that does not improve after three weeks.

Prevention and treatment

Prevention includes healthy habits, such as avoiding alcohol and smoking. According to the Inca, smokers are five times more likely to develop head and neck cancer. If we add alcohol consumption, the chance increases tenfold.

Currently, there are 21 health units licensed to treat cancer patients in Santa Catarina. Of these, 20 perform surgery.

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  • Terezinha Gaio Passo Regional Hospital – São Miguel do Oeste
  • Leoner Vargas Ferreira Hospital – Chapeco
  • Santa Teresinha University Hospital – Guasaba
  • Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Hospital – Tubarao
  • Sao Jose Hospital – Criciuma
  • Alto Valley Regional Hospital – Rio do Sul
  • Santa Isabel Hospital – Blumenau
  • Santo Antonio Hospital – Blumenau
  • Hospital. Marietta Kunder-Bornhausen – Itagay
  • Sagrada Familia Hospital and Maternity Hospital – Sao Bento do Sul
  • Sao Braz Charitable Hospital – Porto Uniao
  • Sao Jose Municipal Hospital – Joinville
  • Hospital. Bridge A. Faria Maternity and Child Care Center – Joinville
  • Sao Jose Hospital – Jaragua do Sul
  • Teresa Ramos General and Maternity Hospital – Lajes
  • Charity Hospital – Florianopolis
  • Joana de Gusmão Children's Hospital – Florianopolis
  • Governor Celso Ramos Hospital – Florianopolis
  • Carmela Dutra Maternity Hospital – Florianopolis
  • University Hospital – Florianopolis
  • Sibon – Florianopolis
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Green July

Green July is global head and neck cancer awareness month. According to the World Health Organization, this type of cancer is the ninth most common worldwide.

In Brazil, “Green July” was officially created by Law No. 8086/2017, which designates July 27 as “World Head and Neck Cancer Day” to raise awareness in the fight against these types of cancer.

*Under the supervision of Andrea Da Luz

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