Penn Dental Medicine Students Present 6th Annual Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk & 5K

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Media Contact:Beth Adams | adamsnb@dental.upenn.edu | 215-573-8224March 28, 2014

WHO:             Penn Dental Medicine

WHAT:            6th Annual Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk & 5K

WHEN:           Saturday, March 29, 2014, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. (5K starts in Penn Park at 8 a.m. finishing at Penn Dental Medicine; the Walk starts at Penn Dental Medicine at 10 a.m. and finishes at Penn Dental Medicine as well)

WHERE:         Penn Dental Medicine, 240 S. 40th St. (40th & Locust Streets) and Penn Park, Walnut & 30th Streets

 

Penn Dental Medicine’s student-run Philadelphia Oral Cancer Awareness Society presents the 6th Annual Philadelphia Oral Cancer Walk & 5K to raise funds in support of the Oral Cancer Foundation, while building awareness of the importance of early detection and screening in the prevention of oral cancer.

The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that approximately 43,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2014. This includes those cancers that occur in the mouth itself, in the very back of the mouth, and on the exterior lip of the mouth. When found at early stages, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority of cases are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for a death rate of about 43 percent at five years from diagnosis (for all stages combined at time of diagnosis). Late stage diagnosis is not occurring because most of these cancers are hard to discover, but due to a lack of public awareness coupled with the lack of a national program for opportunistic screenings which would yield early discovery by medical and dental professionals.

Free oral cancer screenings by Penn Dental Medicine faculty and students will be available throughout the event (8 a.m.–12 p.m.) within Penn Dental Medicine.

The 5K run starts prior to the Walk at Penn Park (Walnut & 30th Streets), travelling through the Park and Penn campus and ending at Penn Dental Medicine. The start and finish line for the Walk is at Penn Dental Medicine, 40th and Locust Streets.

At 9:30 a.m., Michael White, a 12-year survivor of stage 4 oral cancer, will share his experiences with his discovery process, treatments, and recovery.

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