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Jim Kelly: Tobacco-Chewer, Oral Cancer Survivor and ESPYS Perseverance Award Winner

How has oral cancer affected Jim Kelly? Listen to his voice. Or, rather his articulation. Can you imagine how he eats differently, swallows differently, sleeps with difficulty? Oral cancer is devastating and you cannot hide the results under your clothes. Jim Kelly accepts the Perseverance Award from ESPYS and gives a 5-minute acceptance speech mentioning his son Hunter and how …

Pathologist with a Passion: 20 Years as Deputy Director for NIH

It’s a special person who has the prestigious role leading the National Cancer Institute for several years and at the same time, help cancer patients who need advice at no charge.  “Every evening he would be on the phone” talking to desperate patients, his son said about his father Dr. Alan Rabson. Every medical school except one rejected his application …

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PAIN: The Most Common Symptom of Oral Cancer

If anyone can give lessons on coping with life challenges it’s Neil Arnold. What is it like to be Neil, a retired OBGYN and 24-year late stage oropharyngeal survivor? Neil no longer speaks. He is a laryngectomee and due to recurrences, he can no longer articulate words. He lives in silence. What impressed me was his staunch independence. When the …

Attitude of Gratitude: Oral Cancer Foundation Walk for Awareness

The weekend, I attended the Oral Cancer Foundation Walk for Awareness in Andover NJ. What an inspiring event, as always! I met Andrew, diagnosed at 26 with tonsil cancer shortly after being married, now a 3-year survivor. Trevor and Todd were buddies from their sons being on the same soccer team….6 months after one got oral cavity cancer, the other …

#1 On Your Priority List: You

Some dental professionals do a cursory screening; some do a very thorough one.  There is no standard or required level of quality, except one: an oral cancer screening should be performed at every dental check-up. I spoke with a dentist (about 50 years old) who told me she never learned how to perform an oral cancer screening in dental school so she doesn’t …