Last month the dental industry celebrated Oral Cancer Awareness month, and 208 of our supported offices helped raise awareness in a special way. They partnered with the Oral Cancer Cause to participate in the Bubble Challenge.
Started by the Oral Cancer Cause in 2016, the Bubble Challenge helps raise awareness about oral cancer and the importance of regular screenings in a fun way. Many oral cancer patients have had their mouths reconstructed and teeth, palates and pieces of their tongues removed. Among other things, they aren’t able to chew gum … or blow a bubble. Heartland Dental supported offices raised nearly 13,000!
Funds from the Oral Cancer Cause go directly to patients that are suffering. Founded in 2013, Oral Cancer Cause (OCC) is a non-profit organization that was founded by Linda Miles and Robin Morrison in memory of their individual family members who had passed away after suffering from oral cancer. Their mission is “to improve the quality of life for oral cancer patients through financial support so that they may face the world with peace and dignity during and after medical treatment.”
Because it’s often found in the later stages, oral cancer has a high death rate. However, when detected early, the survival rate is 80 – 90%. So, what can you do to help yourself and those around you? Start having conversations with your dentist about oral cancer, and stay educated!
Besides an annual screening, here are some tips from dentists for reducing your risk of oral cancer:
- Stop/don’t start using tobacco.
- Always brush and floss your teeth regularly.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- See your dentist regularly.
If you would like to donate time or resources to OCC, click here.