FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Freeholder Ronald G. Rios
Chair, Public Health and Education Committee
(732) 745-7092

Oral Cancer Screenings Planned

APRIL 16, 2009 -- The Middlesex County Public Health Department and the Middlesex County Dental Society are sponsoring a free oral cancer screening event from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Dental Clinic, One Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick. 

Screenings will be available to Middlesex County residents with or without dental insurance.

Middlesex County Freeholder Ronald G. Rios, chairman of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee, stated: “I urge residents to come out and get a screening and to educate themselves about the symptoms and risk factors of oral cancer.  Early detection is the key to successful treatment.”

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 30,000 new cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx are diagnosed each year, and more than 8,000 people die from oral cancer annually. Additionally, men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with oral cancers.

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer include: a mouth sore that fails to heal or that bleeds easily; a white or red patch in the mouth that will not go away; a lump, thickening, or soreness in the mouth, throat or tongue; and difficulty chewing or swallowing food.  Early signs of oral cancer are difficult to detect without an examination from a dental or medical professional.

Risk factors for oral cancer include: smoking or chewing tobacco products and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Studies have also shown that the risk is increased when smoking and alcohol use are combined.

David A. Papi, director of the Middlesex County Public Health Department, stated: “This event will provide participants with information and screening opportunities related to oral health to help improve the well-being of the community.”

For more information, contact Padma Arvind at (732) 745-3140 or padma.arvind@co.middlesex.nj.us.

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