Dear Friends and Fans,
For the 6th year, I’m chairing the Oral Cancer Awareness Walk in Bethlehem, PA. There is a critical need that I work hard to meet. Everyone knows if they have a spot on their skin with irregular borders, or a lump in their breast, or blood in their urine…..they know what to do and what it could be, so they move fast. However, few know that if they have a non-tender lump in their neck, a persistent sore throat or unexplained chronic cough that it could be oral cancer.
The numbers of people being diagnosed with oral cancer due to tobacco is decreasing whereas the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is on the rise in epidemic proportions. Until dental professionals are up-to-date with current research on oral cancer and take the initiative to educate patients, we will not catch this disease in it’s early stages when it’s most survivable.
For this reason, our event begins with a 2-hour course given by a local ENT on oral cancer, HPV, and its signs, symptoms and treatment. This is the second year we are offering a 2-hour course which is FREE to dental professionals and provides them with two Continuing Education credits.
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a 5-star rated organization (check out their financial and ‘impact’ statement on guidestar.com along with any other non-profits you support). Most of your dollar is spent on what you expect: Education, advocacy and research. A worthy organization to support.
Why do I do this? I’m reminded regularly how fortunate I am to speak articulately, swallow normally, and have evaded facial disfigurement after surgery for late stage oral cancer. It is an obligation to do what I can to raise awareness for the general public about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, and what you should expect at your dental check-up: an oral cancer screening. If you don’t know if you receive a thorough screening at every visit, come to our walk or visit SixStepScreening.org or the Oral Cancer Foundation’s website to learn more.
Please support me in my efforts to save lives from this devastating disease that can steal the ability to speak, eat, smile and kiss, such simple yet critical human needs. Better yet, join us at the walk!
In appreciation for life, your love, and support,