CHICAGO, June 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) volunteer dentists will provide free oral cancer screenings for the general public during AGD 2015, the academy's annual meeting, which will take place June 18 to 21 in San Francisco.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 45,000 new cases of oral cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year. To help bring attention to this deadly disease, the AGD Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the AGD, will host oral cancer screenings during AGD 2015. The organization hopes to screen about 300 meeting attendees and members of the public.
"More than 50 dentists will be available to provide these quick and painless examinations," says AGD President W. Carter Brown, DMD, FAGD. "Doctors will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in the neck, throat, cheeks, and mouth, and look for any sores or discoloration."
The free screenings will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, June 19, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Moscone West Convention Center located at 747 Howard St.
According to Dr. Brown, the first step in fighting oral cancer is early detection, which includes semiannual visits to the general dentist, who can identify early signs and symptoms of oral cancer. "General dentists are the first line of defense against oral cancer, and early detection is key to increasing survival rates," he says. "We're asking community members to spare a few minutes of their day to stop by the convention center for an oral health evaluation. Those few minutes could save your life."
Scientists are not sure of the exact cause of oral cancer. However, risk factors include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, age, gender (oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women), and race (oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in African Americans than Caucasians). Research also has uncovered a connection between oral cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.
Corporate donors provide vital support for the AGD Foundation's oral cancer initiatives through financial donations and in-kind contributions. This year's Major Donor is 3M ESPE. Supporting Donors are Dentist's Advantage and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. Contributing Donors are A-dec Inc., Heartland Dental, and Ivoclar Vivadent.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of 39,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively serves the needs and represents the interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, visit www.agd.org.
About the Academy of General Dentistry Foundation
The mission of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the AGD, is to passionately support the efforts of the general dentist toward improving the oral health of the public. The AGD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity; gifts to the AGD Foundation are fully deductible for United States federal income tax purposes, subject to the limitations placed on charitable gifts by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information about the AGD Foundation, visit www.agd.org/agd-foundation.aspx.
SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry