Unfortunately, unless you are a medical or a dental professional, you probably didn’t.
Because the sad truth is that oral cancer awareness is shockingly low. And this lack of awareness can be fatal.
In fact, the death rate associated with oral cancer is particularly high, not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer routinely being routinely discovered late in its development.
This is not surprising news, since there is not yet a comprehensive program available in the US to opportunistically screen for the disease.
However, the Oral Cancer Foundation—which is a “national public service, non-profit entity designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy and patient support activities”—is determined to increase both profession and public awareness of this disease by encouraging the public to undergo routine oral cancer screenings.
While this is a year-round mission, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. So, until the end of the month, many dentists across the US are offering free oral cancer screenings.
Inspired to do something? Here are a few steps that you can take to support Oral Cancer Awareness Month 2015.
- Spread the word on social media: Share messages, stories and statistics about oral cancer with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Super simple!
- Make a donation: Whether you donate $250 or $25, your contribution is making someone smile.
- Encourage your coworkers, friends and family members to go get screened for oral cancer: Again, catching this disease in its early stages is essential. You can find free oral cancer screenings in your area by clicking here. And if you are a Vista Dental Care patient, give us a call at (650) 871-1430 or use our online appointment request form, since we will be offering free Vizilite Plus assisted oral cancer screenings.
- Register for a Run/Walk Fundraiser: Doing so is a fantastic way to show your support. And these events aren’t always in April, so you can get some exercise in and do some good for a wonderful cause all year round.