HNCA is hosting its 23nd annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) with awareness-raising from April 11-17, 2021 and screenings from November 7 -13, 2021.

HNCA is hosting its 23rd annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week® (OHANCAW®) awareness-raising from April 11-17, 2021 and screenings from November 7 -13, 2021. For more than two decades, HNCA has worked with partners around the world to raise awareness and save lives by hosting community health screenings to promote early detection.

Hosting Head and Neck Cancer Screenings During the Covid-19 Pandemic

We understand many sites may have challenges with hosting a screening event in the early part of 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, so we are encouraging sites to: 

  • Work with their respective institutions’ public health teams to determine the appropriate timing and venue to optimize the safety of your head and neck cancer screening event.
  • Plan for a screening in the latter part of 2021 when a vaccine is available. HNCA is pleased to offer the same educational and promotional support—free of charge—for all screenings offered in 2021.
  • Share this email with dental offices in your local community, who are currently seeing patients, and can serve as the first line of defense in detecting head and neck cancer.

Our partners can also get involved in other ways, such as participating in our online awareness-raising campaign, hosting a virtual educational activity, or sharing OHANCAW print and digital materials in their waiting and exam rooms. More information will be shared later about these and other activities for Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week 2021!

Why Host a Screening?

Screening and early detection of oral, head and neck cancer is now more important than ever. Oropharyngeal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is on the rise in younger adults without traditional risk factors, and has recently surpassed the rate of cervical cancer caused by HPV among women in the US. We know that HPV positive cancer carries a better chance of survival than HPV negative if it’s caught early and treated early, making screening for every adult imperative.

The statistics are staggering and further underscore the need for worldwide screenings. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, HPV prevalence in oropharyngeal tumors shot up from 16% during the 1980s to 73% during the 2000s. 

Easy as 1…2…SCREEN

HNCA makes it easy for your organization to participate. We provide the promotional and education materials free of charge, and you organize the staff and volunteers. By signing up to host a screening at your medical or dental office, center, or institution, you will have access to the following materials:

  • How to Host a Head and Neck Cancer Screening, a guide to help prepare your team for what to expect during a screening
  • A screening kit that includes HIPAA compliant screening forms, promotional materials (posters, t-shirts, local media kit), and giveaways
  • The 2020 Media Outreach & Publicity Guide to get your community involved

These materials will arrive at your institution well in advance of your screening event, so you will have help along the way as you navigate through this important and worthwhile life saving program.

Registration for 2021 is now open!

While most screenings will take place during Pinnacle Week (November 7 -13 , 2021), we welcome your partnership at any time of the year. If you’re unable to host a screening in November, please consider hosting an event at another time in 2021. HNCA is pleased to offer the same educational and promotional support—free of charge—for all screenings offered during the year.

Awareness Events

Some screening sites also participate in oral, head and neck cancer awareness events during the same week as the free screenings. Doing this yields more community involvement and further promotes early detection for these types of cancers. We encourage supplemental education and awareness events, and are here to help you in any way we can. Previous successful events include run/walks, benefit concerts and school talks. For more information, please email info@headandneck.org.


We will also work to implement a national publicity campaign to complement your screening event, including a new national spokesperson each year. Our 2021 spokesperson is renowned voice actor, Rob Paulsen. Learn more about our spokesperson here!

1-866-792-4622 (HNCA)

Even with all of my daily reminders of what this disease has done to me, the permanent reminders, the scars that anyone can see. I remind myself, even on the bad dark days that I fought this horrible disease and I will always fight for the rest of my days.Angie Rush
Survivor of Stage IV Tongue Cancer

Thank You to Our Corporate and Community Partners