April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and OCF would like to invite you to join us in our national screening campaign to end oral cancer!
Oral Cancer awareness in the American public is low. Approximately 45,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 125 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it.
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. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. This is your opportunity to get involved and give back to your community in hopes to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives. Together, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world of oral cancers. Please join with us.
How to Get Involved
Joining the movement is a simple process. The foundation promotes April through numerous press releases, and other outreach efforts to make the public aware that our partners are offering a simple visual and tactile screening for free during awareness month. The idea is to first have your practice listed on our April events calendar.
There are several ways to offer a free screening event to your community:
Offer screenings throughout the month where interested patrons can call in and schedule an appointment. This way your staff can schedule the screenings at a convenient time for you; in-between currently scheduled patient appointments or even after hours. This will allow for more oral screenings to be completed, while making the most of the staff’s time.
Block out a minimum 3-hour period to have an event in your office where walk-ins and appointments are welcome. Make this as large or little as you want.
Out of Office Public Event
Choose a day to do your event; preferably weekends for the best turnout and walk-up traffic. Reach out to your local Walgreens, CVS, Walmart or the like.
Ask to do free screenings in their parking lot on chosen date.
Partner with the store for marketing, and any other items that they may provide — table, chairs, EZ-Up or even a promotional banner. Which of the three events you choose to do is truly the preference of your office and staff. With any of the three options above, the key to a successful screening event is marketing. OCF provides everything from downloadable patient release and referral forms, to brochures on oral cancer for the public, to buttons and wristbands for your staff. A packet of the support materials will be sent to your office at no charge in March. A marketing guide on how to promote your office is also part of the downloadable packet, and following its guidelines will help you bring new patients to your office.
Opportunistic screening is our best hope of reducing the death rate from this disease. By participating in oral cancer awareness month, you are not only offering a positive service to your community but it is also a great way to build your practice. Many people that come in for screenings will turn into regular patients and may even need additional dental work done.
For more information on how oral cancer awareness month and how to get involved, click here.