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Head and neck screenings April 15 and 17

Leonard Barraco, lead plumber, YNHH, caught thyroid cancer early thanks to a free head and neck screening at the hospital two years ago. Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center are again offering screenings this month.

Leonard Barraco, lead plumber, Plant Engineering, likes to take advantage of the various health screenings Yale New Haven Hospital offers throughout the year. So when a fellow employee suggested he go to a head and neck screening at Smilow Cancer Hospital two years ago, he agreed.

A physician at the screening found enlarged nodules in his neck and soon after, Barraco developed a bump on one side of his neck. Tests confirmed that Barraco had cancer cells around his thyroid gland and after two surgeries — one to remove the tumor on the side of his neck and a second to remove the thyroid gland — he's doing well.

Employees and members of the public will have an opportunity to attend similar, free screenings for oral, head and neck cancer presented by Smilow and Yale Cancer Center: 4:30-6:30 pm Wednesday, April 15, McGivney Cancer Care Center, Saint Raphael Campus; and 9 am-4 pm Friday, April 17, East Pavilion special events area, York Street Campus. Registration is required, 888.700.6543. An additional screening will be 4:30-6:30 pm Wednesday, April 15, at the Smilow Cancer Care Center located in the Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, 1075 Chase Parkway, Waterbury. To register for that screening, call 203.575.5544. For information on the screenings, contact Joseph Mendes.

"I was very happy I went to that screening two years ago," said Barraco, who is training to ride 100 miles in this year's Closer To Free bike ride in September. "I caught the cancer early, and I feel great."