CHICAGO, June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Early detection of oral cancer is essential to improving treatment options for individuals who are diagnosed with this disease, and general dentists serve as a first line of defense. This is why Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) member dentists will provide free oral cancer screenings on July 15 and 16 for the general public during its annual meeting in Boston. Screenings will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT both days at the Hynes Convention Center at 900 Boylston Street. Interested individuals can simply walk in.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 48,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 9,500 people will die from it — that's about one person every hour. Oral cancer is typically discovered in its late stages, which leads to a higher death rate. The disease can develop and grow without the patient noticing any obvious symptoms, reducing the chances that it will be diagnosed in the early stages.
To help bring attention to this deadly disease, the AGD Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the AGD, annually hosts oral cancer free screenings, which only take a few minutes to complete and people can access without concerns for costs.
"Routine oral cancer screenings should be a standard of care all dental professionals must perform as part of every evaluation, which involves feeling for lumps or irregular tissues changes in the neck, throat, cheeks and mouth, as well as any sores or discoloration," said Gerald J. Botko, DMD, MS, MAGD, FACD, president of the AGD Foundation. "There are three primary risk factors associated with oral cancer, including tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) but other unknown factors also play a role, increasing the need for screenings. AGD dentists are prepared to talk with patients about the impact these factors have on their overall health. We invite community members to stop by for a quick screening that could save their lives."
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. Supporting Donors are Dentist's Advantage, and Heartland Dental. Contributing Donors are Crest + Oral B, Henry Schein Cares Foundation and Ivoclar Vivadent.
The mission of the AGD Foundation is to support the efforts of the general dentist toward improving the oral health of the public. The organization not only acknowledges that the dental community is deeply concerned with oral cancer, but also works diligently to promote oral cancer awareness and to educate the public about risk factor prevention. For more information about the AGD Foundation, visit www.agd.org/agd-foundation.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of over 40,000 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.
SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry