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Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital Focuses on Early Cancer Detection

As a result of a 2016 community health needs assessment, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital identified cancers of the head and neck as a health need in south and west St. Louis County. The hospital’s goal for the next three years is to improve early detection of head and neck cancer by providing free screenings to those with increased risk factors, educating attendees about the risk factors and connecting identified high risk attendees to appropriate care for further treatment.

To prepare and secure baseline data, the Siteman Cancer Center and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital provided two free screenings in the fall of 2016. The screenings included a private exam where a Washington University otolaryngologist visually and physically checked the patient’s ear, nose, throat and neck area for signs of cancer.

A total of 131 patients were screened and 35 percent were found to be moderate to high risk for head and neck cancer and were contacted by the Washington University Ear, Nose and Throat Center for a follow-up visit. Ninety-eight percent of the attendees participated in a pre- and post-test and opportunities have been identified to improve patient education at upcoming events.

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