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UB Dental School to Offer Free Oral Cancer Screening

By Lois Baker

Release Date: June 11, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will offer free oral cancer screening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 22 in Squire Hall on the UB South (Main Street) Campus.

While the program is targeted at smokers and those over 50, screening will be available to all. It will involve a 15-minute examination of the soft tissue in the mouth to look for suspicious lesions; an additional 15 minutes will be required to complete paperwork.

Appointments are not necessary. There will be ample parking near Squire Hall.

Participants will be directed from the lobby of Squire Hall to the dental clinic where the screening will take place.

Cancers of the mouth and pharynx (the passage that connects the back of the nose and mouth to the esophagus) account for about three percent of all cancers in the U.S. Approximately 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Significant risk factors are smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Most oral and pharyngeal cancers occur in patients over 45, and men are affected more often than women. The most common sites are the tongue, floor of the mouth and lip.

Early detection is a key to successful treatment. An oral cancer examination by the dentist, dental hygienist or physician is recommended on an annual basis.

The program is being organized by Denise Brown, a fourth-year dental student, in conjunction with Lance Ortman, D.D.S., associate dean of clinical affairs, and the faculty in the Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences.