The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and the American Head & Neck Society host the webinar, "Tobacco Cessation Strategies for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Survivors" on March 15, 2022 at 6:30 PM ET. The webinar will be featured medical experts specializing in tobacco counseling, research, and developing strategies for prevention and early detection of tobacco-induced tumors and a cancer survivor who shared her cancer story and how she quit tobacco.
Director, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Boston University School of Medicine
Heather Edwards is the Director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery at Boston Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the Boston University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree at Western University in Canada, followed by residency training in Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto. She subsequently completed a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology, microvascular reconstruction, and skull base surgery at Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Her clinical interests include microvascular reconstruction and maximizing functional outcomes in head and neck surgery. Her research interests include the impact of the oral microbiome on carcinogenesis and survivorship care. She is passionate about cancer prevention and has led her division in multiple initiatives to improve access to preventative care, including improved access to HPV vaccination and local cancer screening events.
Professor and Chair
Dept. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
University of Minnesota
Samir S. Khariwala MD MS, is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Khariwala completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and residency training at the Cleveland Clinic. He then completed subspecialty training in advanced head and neck surgical oncology and microvascular reconstruction at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Khariwala’s NIH-funded research is focused on tobacco-related carcinogenesis in oral/head and neck cancer. His work pertains to product analyses, the identification of oral signatures indicating cancer risk as well as the development of strategies for prevention and early detection of tobacco-induced tumors.
Dr. Khariwala holds fellow or member status in the American Head and Neck Society, the Triological Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. In addition, he serves as a Senior Examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology and Deputy Editor of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Amy Pirkl is a passionate Tobacco Treatment Specialist with over ten years of experience helping patients quit tobacco. Amy demonstrates an unwavering drive to serve patients and is a strong advocate to help patients live healthier lives. Currently, Amy is the Lead Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Stanford Health Care Tobacco Treatment Services. Amy provides exemplary tobacco counseling services to patients while also addressing their psychosocial needs and problem-solving skills.
Prior to her role at Stanford Health Care, Amy joined the University of Minnesota NCI-funded Cancer Moonshot Initiative where she provided program development and implementation of a clinical tobacco program in cancer care. Amy has served as the subject matter expert on tobacco cessation in her role at Optum Health, was a Lead Behavioral Counselor at Mayo Clinic, and has experience as a therapist providing mental health services to underserved populations.
Amy received her certification as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Motivational Interviewing training at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Amy also holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree and will graduate with her Master of Social Work degree in June 2022. She maintains high academic success with a 4.0-grade point average and is a leader within the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
Laryngeal Cancer Survivor
Tobacco Free since 2019
Retired Broker and Real Estate Agent
School Bus Driver
Mickey is a proud mother of three children. For decades, Mickey worked professionally in management in the real estate industry. When her granddaughter Savanna. was born, she changed professions and became a school bus driver, affording her with a flexible schedule to help raise Savanna.
Mickey never faced a health situation until 2018 she underwent surgery for a knee replacement. In 2019, she discovered a small knot on her neck and decide it best to see her primary care physician. It so happens, her doctor was on maternity leave and she was seen by another physician on staff. Mickey credits him with saving her life as he conducted a thorough exam and then scheduled her for immediate follow-up appointments with head and neck cancer specialists.
Diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, Mickey underwent both chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Since her diagnosis four years ago, Mickey has been tobacco free.
She successfully and unsuccessfully attempted to quit smoking for 20 years. Mickey tried nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, and all types of homeopathy approaches, and hypnotherapy twice. She started keeping a journal, which seemed to help her as she believes her addiction was emotional. It helped her to quit judging herself as a smoker. She switched to vaping before she finally quit the day of her cancer diagnosis.
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