PHILADELPHIA â€“ Students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine are partnering with the national Oral Cancer Foundation to present Philadelphiaâ€™s 3rd Annual Oral Cancer Walk on Saturday, April 16. The event recognizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month, bringing attention to the disease and the importance of early detection.
â€śWe are proud that our students have taken the initiative to increase the awareness of oral cancer and its potential risks to our health within the Philadelphia community,â€ť said Denis Kinane, the Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Dental Medicine.
The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat will be newly diagnosed in approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. in 2011. When found early, there is an 80-90 percent survival rate; however, due to a lack of public awareness, the majority of cases are found as late-stage cancers that can be fatal.
To promote early detection, free head and neck screenings will be conducted throughout the event, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., by Penn Dental Medicine faculty. The 3.1-mile walk will begin at Penn Dental Medicine, 40th and Locust streets, at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 9 a.m.
All registrants must collect at least $20 in sponsorships to participate, and all funds raised will support the work of the national Oral Cancer Foundation. Registration for the walk can be accomplished at www.oralcancerphilly.org or on site the day of the event.
The event will also include distribution of oral-health products, light refreshments and informational speakers, including oral-cancer survivors Robert Unruh and Eva Grayzel.
Dental practitioners in the region will also have the opportunity to gain continuing education credit at the Walk.
Thomas Sollecito, professor and chair of Oral Medicine at Penn Dental Medicine, will present a lecture from 8 to 9 a.m. on oral cancer, the pathogenesis of the disease and various diagnostic methods. Attendees are eligible to receive one CDE credit hour.
The first 10 registrants will also be offered the opportunity for supervised oral-cancer screenings with Penn Dental Medicine faculty for an additional one CDE credit, a total of two credits.
Course fees are waived for registered walkers through sponsorship from the Penn Dental Medicine Office of Continuing Education.
Registration for the continuing-education course can be accomplished by supplying name, mailing address and professional credentials at firstname.lastname@example.org.