100,000 people are diagnosed each year with cancer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gerald Clark of Springfield was delighted with his diagnoses from Dr. Jacquelyn Reilly of the Baystate Medical Center, when she told him there were no signs of mouth, neck or head cancer.

Cancer runs in Clark’s family. He said, “Yes there is. My grandfather, my uncle came back from cancer.”

Dr. Reilly told 22News, some 13,000 people die from mouth, neck or head cancer every year; which is why the free screening was held Wednesday at Baystate Medical Center’s D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield.

“Both smoking and drinking together form a significantly increased factor for head and neck cancer in general, but specifically oral cavity cancer which is what we’re screening for today,” said Dr. Reilly.

Ionicio Henriquez of Springfield was greatly relieved when Dr. Reilly told him he was not among the 100,000 people diagnosed each year with cancer of the mouth, neck or head.

Henriquez told 22News, it’s a weight lifted from his shoulders. “I give thanks to my God, you know, he’s there for me, I feel healthy, very, very happy.”

Wednesday’s screenings were held in observance of oral, head and neck cancer awareness week; a reminder that a lump in your neck, persistent pain in your mouth or difficulty swallowing should not be taken lightly.

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