April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
An update from the Oral Cancer Foundation

POSTED: Tuesday, April 04, 2017

— By: Josie Paxton, Communications Manager for the Oral Cancer Foundation

The Oral Cancer Foundation’s missions are rooted in science. OCF funds life-saving research and work that elucidates mechanisms for early discovery, furthers disease understanding, and reveals improved treatment mechanisms. We provide direct peer-to-peer support for oral cancer patients and their caregivers. The foundation disseminates vetted professional and public information on oral and oropharyngeal cancer, and works as an advocate for national policies that facilitate disease awareness, early discovery, and improve treatments and their outcomes. Our foundation’s missions are changing patient’s lives today, and altering outcomes in the future.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and as the showcase month for the disease, thirteen of our thirty walks this year are taking place during that month. We have volunteer coordinators all over the country working with the OCF office staff to execute these events. These events are important as they spread public awareness of the disease, its risk factors, and associated early signs and symptoms. On a more personal note, they give oral cancer survivors a chance to share their story; bringing the human side of the issue to the forefront Each event also provides funds to OCF that will be used to support research and our other mission goals. To participate in an oral cancer walk for awareness, please visit http://www.donate.oralcancer.org to find a walk near you!

In 2017, oral cancer will affect 49,750 Americans. OCF has set out on a journey to educate the public about the importance of early detection as well as getting an oral cancer screening from your RDH or dentist. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate, which is why we stress the importance of getting an annual screening when you visit your dental professional. The dental community plays a huge part in early detection; they are the leading edge of discovery, and they are the public’s best opportunity to avoid a late stage diagnosis. We urge dental professionals to host free public screening events in their community during awareness month and throughout the year. We host an online calendar for such events which is heavily cataloged by the Google search engine. Offices are free to list their practices and screening events on our website. For those that do, we send out oral cancer screening kits which provide them handouts and materials to make the screenings go smoothly. Please visit http://oralcancerfoundation.org/events/ocf/add to add your office to the OCF calendar. While we promote screenings heavily during April, events are put up on it routinely all year long.

As we continue to pursue new disease knowledge and better treatment mechanisms, OCF always has at the center of its endeavors the individual patients and their families who find themselves in a battle with this disease. With the support of the dental and medical community, and hundreds of volunteers and donors around the country, we and this community that has grown around us are working towards a future in which this disease is brought down from its high ranking as a killer.

For more information about oral cancer, please log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at www.oralcancer.org.