Penn Dental Medicine’s 3rd Annual Oral Cancer Walk April 16

From the April 12, 2011, Volume 57, No. 29 of the Penn Alamnac

Penn Dental Medicine students are partnering with the national Oral Cancer Foundation to present Philadelphia‘s 3rd Annual Oral Cancer Walk on Saturday, April 16, to recognize Oral Cancer Awareness Month and bringing attention to the disease and the importance of early detection.

“We 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,” said Dr. Denis Kinane, the Morton Amsterdam Dean of Dental Medicine.

The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that approximately 37,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2011, which includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat. When 

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found early, there is an 80 to 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 killers.

To promote early detection, free head and neck screenings will be conducted throughout the event (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) by Penn Dental Medicine faculty. The 5K 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 Oral Cancer Foundation. To register, visit or register 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. An interactive performance artist and master storyteller, Ms. Grayzel has been a featured speaker for the American Dental Association and continues to share her personal story of surviving Stage IV tongue cancer. A champion for early detection, she developed an oral cancer awareness campaign,, for which she was recognized by the American Academy of Oral Medicine.

Dental practitioners will have the opportunity to gain continuing education credit. Dr. Thomas Sollecito, professor and chair of oral medicine, will present a lecture on oral cancer, the pathogenesis of the disease, and various diagnostic methods, 8 -9 a.m. 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 faculty for an additional CDE credit (a total of 2 credits).To register for the continuing education course, contact the Oral Cancer Walk Executive Board at with your name, mailing address, and professional credentials.

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