New York City Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Wednesday, November 6, 2002
NYC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE AND THE ORAL CANCER CONSORTIUM WILL PROVIDE FREE ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Free Oral Cancer Screenings Available Throughout Five Boroughs
On Thursday, November 7 2002, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Oral Cancer Consortium will offer free oral cancer screenings in multiple locations throughout the five boroughs. To find the nearest location offering free oral cancer screenings, area residents can call 1-877-263-3401, or visit the Oral Cancer Consortium's Web site at
DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH said, "Most early signs of oral cancer are painless can often go undetected without a proper oral examination by a dental professional. Tobacco users and individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol are among those at greater risk for developing oral cancer, and engaging in both of these activities at the same time increases risk considerably."
Dr. Frieden continued, "Approximately 2,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with oral cancer, and 600 die from the disease each year. Fortunately, there are simple, painless tests that are highly effective at detecting oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings greatly increase the likelihood of early detection and proper treatment."
Free screenings consist of a thorough examination provided by a dental professional. If an area of suspicion is found, a painless brush biopsy test will be administered to determine if any pre-cancerous or cancerous cells are present. The most common symptom is a red or white sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal, other signs include a lump or thickening in the cheek, a painless white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in the United States; approximately 8,000 result in death.
Oral Cancer Consortium
The Oral Cancer Consortium, which consists of 34 metropolitan-area healthcare institutions and professional societies in the New York/Pennsylvania area, is committed to educating local residents about the signs and risk factors associated with oral cancer. The goal of the consortium is to raise awareness about oral cancer and the importance of prevention and early detection.
For more information about member institutions offering free oral cancer screenings on November 7, New Yorkers can call 1-877-263-3401, or visit www.oral-cancer.org.