April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is from the 16th– to the 23rd of April – This provides dental offices with an excellent opportunity to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year. An estimated 13,500 people will die of these cancers, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. The death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.
While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest-growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. See more: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/
Here are some Oral Cancer Awareness Tips and Ideas to get you started:
- Hygiene Continuing Care Opportunity: Encourage your inactive patients to come in for their important free oral cancer screening.
- Partner with a local business to do free oral cancer screenings at their location.
- Donate a portion of service/product sales (ie: teeth whitening, fluoride, Invisalign) to Oral Cancer Research.
- Give away Free T-shirts or Bracelets to every patient that makes a donation toward Oral Cancer Research or Just Because.
- Create a video to share on your social media platforms demonstrating how oral cancer screenings are quick & painless.
- Bring in your local dermatologist for a lunch n learn to demonstrate oral, head & neck cancer screenings.
- Have a gift card or gift basket raffle that your patients can enter to win during the month of April.
Remember that when your patients are healthy – your practice is healthy. For your patients to smile healthy they need to schedule the treatment you’ve diagnosed and to come in regularly for their hygiene continuing care appointments and oral cancer screenings.
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