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Dental School Offers Free Oral Cancer Screenings to Public during October Prevention Campaign

October  21, 2011

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently invited Bay Area residents to receive free oral cancer screenings and get their questions answered about the health of their mouths. The screenings were offered as part of the dental school's participation in the Oral Cancer Foundation's "Campaign to Make Oral Cancer History." 

Throughout the day on October 20 and 21, faculty and dental hygiene students provided screenings and education to nearly 80 members of the public who came to the dental school for the free event. An oral cancer screening includes a non-invasive visual and tactile examination, and can be a critical step in detecting the disease early. Educational brochures and literature about oral cancer were also available in the clinic.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation web site, approximately 37,000 people in the United States are newly diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and one person dies of the disease every hour. The web site also notes that historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high, not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer often being discovered late in its development.

"By offering free oral cancer screenings, the Dugoni School of Dentistry hopes to emphasize the importance of routinely checking for oral cancer, as early diagnosis is a critical first step in treating the disease," said Dr. Nasser Said-Al-Naief, associate professor in the Pathology and Medicine Department and director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Laboratory. "Sharing information about oral cancer with patients also helps educate them on the disease, risk factors and possible symptoms to take note of."

This is the second time the Dugoni School of Dentistry has offered free oral cancer screenings in 2011. The screenings are part of the school's commitment to emphasizing preventative care.

For more information about oral cancer, its symptoms and warning signs, please visit the Oral Cancer Foundation's web site at http://oralcancerfoundation.org.

Category Type: Community Outreach, Special Events

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu