Health & Wellness

Morristown’s Atlantic Health System Launches Region’s Only HPV Center Dedicated to Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral HPV-Associated Cancers

d02aeb408c56f5b1086d_DSC_0447.JPG
01bfb185aa53774e0124_DSC_0442.JPG
2ab1a0bf76847fd118fe_DSC_0387.JPG
72362dec731de8f278ca_DSC_0451.JPG
90373a78bd1244c3b737_DSC_0457.JPG
ed653ca85399e4c2dd29_DSC_0383.JPG
05a4fdad47e23fd73979_DSC_0404.JPG
ab40378ca5f5acedd8c2_DSC_0413.JPG
a8f259360d0cfa0b84cc_DSC_0414.JPG
8cd2953568730114d9c1_DSC_0418.JPG
ba06ce52e54421a04957_DSC_0434.JPG
d02aeb408c56f5b1086d_DSC_0447.JPG

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Over 10,000 Americans are estimated to be diagnosed with HPV-associated oral cancer this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a concerning trend that has seen the rate of such cancers triple over the last two decades. Responsible for approximately 70 percent of new cases of oral cancer, HPV-associated oral cancer is now the leading cause of oral cancer, surpassing cigarette smokers and chronic alcohol abusers, with white males between the ages of 40 and 60 years being most affected by this disease. Most notably, accomplished actor Michael Douglas candidly announced his battle with HPV-associated oral cancer five years ago, demonstrating that this is a disease that does not discriminate against anyone.

In an effort to combat the rise of HPV-associated oral cancers, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care officially launched the region’s only center dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of HPV-related head and neck cancers in a grand opening on Wednesday evening at the Leonard B. Kahn Head and Neck Cancer Institute at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center during oral cancer awareness month. The event was headlined by the Atlantic Health System’s team of head and neck oncology expert physicians offering insights on advancements in surgical approaches, innovations in radiation oncology, and clinical trials.

“For the first time, patients and those who suspect they may have this type of cancer will have somewhere to go to receive care from some of the nation’s most expert, highly specialized physicians and head and neck cancer care teams located at Morristown Medical Center,” said James Wong, MD, medical director, Leonard B. Kahn Head and Neck Cancer Institute and chair, Department of Radiation Oncology at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. 

Sign Up for E-News

Approximately 14 million people are newly affected with the human papilloma virus every year. In fact, HPV is so common that almost every person who is sexually active will get HPV at some point in their life with as many as 90 percent in men and 80 percent in women, respectively according to the CDC. Most people will clear the virus naturally within one to two years, and many with the virus won’t know that they’ve been infected. However, when the virus persists and is not cleared from the immune system, it can cause complications, especially if they are of the high-risk variety.

“It’s become increasingly important to have special expertise in HPV-associated head and neck cancers,” explained Erik Cohen, MD, medical director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Atlantic Center for Head and Neck Surgery and surgical director, Leonard B. Kahn Head and Neck Cancer Institute at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. “There are a lot of nuances and complexities in head and neck cancers. When you have a team of dedicated physicians who specialize in head and neck cancer, it’s a great place to receive top level care and to advance the field.”

Because HPV infections are so common, and many times they are asymptomatic, it is hard to determine if you are at risk in the future, Cohen added.  

“I really think our program is unparalleled in the state, and comparable to the international head and neck cancer institutes,” suggested Missak Haigentz, MD, medical director, Hematology and Oncology at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center. “We need to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a public health crisis. We need to bring heightened awareness of HPV-associated head and neck cancer and the time is now to do that.”

Historically oral cancers are something that’s always been associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, but over the years smoking has decreased and the rates of many cancers has decreased, but the numbers of oral cancers have not.

The good news is the HPV-related oral cancers respond better to treatment than those caused by other variables, so long as it is diagnosed early. The cure rates are considerably higher in HPV cases than that alcohol users and cigarette smokers with oral cancer.

“Nobody in this country can give patients with head and neck cancer any better care than we are providing,” said Tom Thomas, MD, MPH, director, Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery and Transoral Robotic Surgery, Leonard B. Kahn Head and Neck Cancer Institute at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center.  “We’re trying to attack this from top to bottom from prevention to screening and treatment. Our hope and expectations are to attract patients from across the country as we continue to provide the highest level of care.”

Atlantic Health System will host two free oral, head and neck cancer screenings will be held in April, in recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Month.

“Most of these cancers can be cured with minimally invasive surgical techniques and other treatments with few side effects, if detected early,” said Dr. Thomas, who will conduct the screenings.  “I strongly encourage anyone with risk factors or potential symptoms to get screened.”

Additionally, Morristown Medical Center will host a special one-day Head and Neck Cancer Treatment in the Era of HPV symposium on Saturday, April 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Malcolm Forbes Auditorium (100 Madison Avenue). To register, call 1-800-247-9580 or visit atlantichealth.org/events. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Parsippany

FREE MORRIS COUNTY VETERANS LEGAL CLINIC AND BENEFITS EXPO

April 19, 2018

APRIL 27 EVENT OPEN TO VETS FROM ALL 39 MORRIS TOWNS

A free Morris County Veterans Legal Clinic and Resources Expo will be on Friday, April 27 at the Morristown Municipal Building, hosted by the Morris County Bar Foundation and Morris County Veterans’ Services Office, in cooperation with the Town of Morristown.

The clinic/expo will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the town hall at 200 ...

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Police Use of Force and Officer Involved Shooting Program is a Great Success

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - On the afternoon of Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office hosted the first of their four “21-County, 21st Century Community Policing Project” programs. The “21/21 Community Policing Project” was implemented by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and aims to cultivate relationships between local law enforcement ...

MORRIS HISTORY: NEW RESEARCH TO TELL STORY OF MORRIS CANALS AND PORT DELAWARE

MORRIS HISTORY: NEW RESEARCH TO TELL STORY OF MORRIS CANALS

AND PORT DELAWARE

Register Now: April 28 Canals and Local History Symposium is Selling Out

Newly acquired letters, documents and drawings reveal an untold story of the daily operations of the Morris Canal, a thoroughfare that was considered a technological marvel in the 1800s for its innovative use of water-driven inclined ...

Holocaust Survivor to Speak

MONTVILLE, NJ – In commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, the Pine Brook Jewish Center presents speaker and Holocaust survivor Olga Menczer on Sunday, April 15 at 10 a.m. at the center.

Menczer was born and raised in the Hungary’s capital city of Budapest. She and her older sister survived slave labor, Ravensbrük Concentration Camp, and a Death March.

Come ...

New Jersey PTA Awarded Grant to Engage Families in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education

New Jersey PTA Awarded Grant to Engage Families in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education

Grant supports STEM + Families initiative to increase student access to STEM experiences

Alexandria, Virginia

National PTA and the Bayer USA Foundation have awarded New Jersey PTA with a $4,000 grant to engage families in STEM education.  New Jersey PTA is one of only seven ...

Blood Reserves Challenged by Patient Demand

New Jersey Blood Services would like to announce that it is conducting blood drives in your area which are open to the public. Please include these drives in any listing of community events which you maintain.  The following drives are scheduled in the near future:

Friday, May 4, 2018   Islamic Center of Morris County, 1 Mannino Drive, Rockaway 11:00 ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM

First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna, Succasunna

Pre-Owned Treasures Sale At First Presbyterian ...

Other

Carousel_image_41347cce18723101343a_rfl-logo

Sat, May 5, 4:00 PM

Morristown Armory, Morristown

Relay For Life of Greater Morristown

Giving Back Health & Wellness

Thu, May 10, 5:30 PM

The Atrium, Florham Park

Disrupt / NNJ

Business & Finance

John Cesaro and Aura Dunn form Freeholder Ticket

April 10, 2018

“The Smart, Conservative Choice for Morris County”

Incumbent Cesaro and Mendham Borough resident, Aura Dunn will run together for the Republican Primary on June 5, 2018.

Both candidates hold advanced degrees and have a combined 40 years in public service.  Cesaro, with a law degree from Quinnipiac University and Dunn, a Master of Public Administration from the George ...

An Innovative Tenure Recognized: Former County Clerk Joseph J. Bell

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Voting by Telephone is something that sounds like a 2018 initiative but in fact it was the brain child of the sole living former County Clerk's - Joseph J. Bell.  On Wednesday evening, April 18, 2018, surrounded by family and his former staff, Bell was honored at current Morris County Clerk Ann Grossi’s “Through the Ages” tribute in ...

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick Makes a Career Day Visit to New Providence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Assemblyman Jon Bramnick helped the kids at the New Providence Middle School answer the age-old question - What do you want to be when you grow up?  The Assembly Leader spent the day with the students talking about what it's like to be a NJ State Legislaturor and an attorney during their annual Career Day.  The kids were interested and ...