Last week Adam Yauch, better known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away at the young age of 47. In 2009, Yauch announced that he felt a lump in his throat but dismissed it as a swollen lymph node. Later, he was diagnosed with a malignancy in his parotid gland that spread to a nearby lymph node. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with a cancer that is very treatable if diagnosed early.
This untimely passing is a poignant reminder of the role we play in prevention, not just of caries, but of all head and neck diseases. With a thorough head and neck exam, we have the opportunity to catch problems and perhaps save a patient’s life. This is yet another heavy responsibility we’ll shoulder as dentists. For now, though, it’s motivation to spend a little more time studying oral pathology.
- Megan Guthman, Chicago Administrative Extern, Alabama ’14