New York, NY (PRWEB) July 27, 2014
The International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS), as part of the opening ceremonies of its 5th World Congress and in collaboration with the annual meeting of the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) and the 100th Anniversary of the first head and neck cancer surgery service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, today commemorated “World Head and Neck Cancer Day.” World Head and Neck Cancer Day promotes awareness and education by encouraging collaboration from government agencies, NGOs, health care professionals, academia, industry and the general public in an effort to control the global burden of head and neck cancers.
“The International Federation of Head and Neck Oncology Societies, the American Head and Neck Society and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are powerful allies who push the field a little bit further every day, changing the way we understand head and neck cancer, and not just saving the lives of countless patients but improving the quality and effectiveness of their treatment,” said actor and producer Michael Douglas during his remarks. “Through your tireless efforts that span nations, continents, cultures and languages, and the courage you display in confronting something so seemingly implacable as cancer, you embody the essential values of cooperation, education and the sharing of knowledge,” Douglas said.
The announcement kicked off the largest ever world congress of head and neck cancer taking place today through July 30th at the Marriot Marquis in New York City and the opening session also included remarks from former President Bill Clinton, actor and activist Jessica Tar and former CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian.
“Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (head and neck cancer) is the leading cause of death and disability in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Jatin Shah, IFHNOS Congress Chairman, Chief of the Head and Neck Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and AHNS Past President. “The vast majority of these cancers can be prevented or can be cured if detected early; however, millions suffer from delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment, inappropriate rehabilitation and palliation,” Dr. Shah said. “We call upon the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to also recognize July 27th as World Head and Neck Cancer Day and to join the international movement to increase awareness and promote education and training in the diagnosis, treatment, outcomes, and research in head and neck cancer.
Douglas also thanked Dr. Shah and the room full of nearly 3,000 doctors for helping to guide the successful treatment of his oropharynx cancer and for their contributions to the advancement of the field. He offered his wholehearted support for Word Head and Neck Cancer Day stating “It’s a move to promote the sharing and advancing of knowledge throughout the world by organizing educational activities each year on this day.”
According to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association - Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, few American adults know about the risk factors and symptoms of head and neck cancer. Sixty-six percent of respondents reported that they had little or no knowledge about these types of cancer. Study authors suggest that increased public education may decrease the disease burden of these cancers. “Providing patient education has always been an integral part of our mission at AHNS,” said AHNS President Terry Day, M.D. “Through our education initiatives, we aim to promote and advance the knowledge of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of diseases of the head and neck,” said Dr. Day.
For more information about the meeting and program, visit http://www.ahns2014.org/, or follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AHNSInfo or on Twitter at @AHNSinfo to view our growing list of supporters for World Head and Neck Cancer Day, including Michael Douglas; Louis Gerstner, Former CEO of IBM; John Federspiel, President, Hudson Valley Hospitals; India's Minister of Heath & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan; Dr. Jochen Werner and the German Head and Neck Society.
IFHNOS is a global organization established through cooperation of national and regional Societies and Organizations in the Specialty of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, with membership from national and regional multidisciplinary organizations representing 65 countries. The purpose of the Federation is to provide a common platform for Specialists in the field of Head and Neck Cancer to interact in professional matters of mutual interest. For more information, visit http://www.IFHNOS.ORG.
The mission of the American Head and Neck Society is: to promote and advance the knowledge of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of neoplasms and other diseases of the head and neck; to promote and advance research in diseases of the head and neck, and; to promote and advance the highest professional and ethical standards. For more information, visit http://www.AHNS.INFO.