April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and OCF would like to invite you to join us in our national screening campaign to end oral cancer! Oral Cancer awareness in the American public is low. Approximately 54,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it

While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest-growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. This is your opportunity to get involved and give back to your community in hopes to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives. Together, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world of oral cancers.

How to Get nYou Practice Involved

Joining the movement is a simple process. The foundation promotes April through numerous press releases, and other outreach efforts to make the public aware that our partners are offering a simple visual and tactile screening for free during awareness month. The idea is to first have your practice listed on our April events calendar. This will only take a few minutes of your time and you can start the process by clicking here.

There are several ways to offer a free screening event to your community:

Scheduled Dental Office Screenings:

  • Offer screenings throughout the month where interested patrons can call in and schedule an appointment. This way your staff can schedule the screenings at a convenient time for you; in-between currently scheduled patient appointments or even after hours. This will allow for more oral screenings to be completed while making the most of the staff’s time.

Office Event

  • Block out a minimum 3-hour period to have an event in your office where walk-ins and appointments are welcome. To make this successful you will need to do some local promotion of your screening day in your community. From a self-made flyer put on a Starbucks bulletin board to line up interviews with the local paper and TV/radio media, this is not hard to do. They love to have a short filler piece about someone donating their time to improve community health. We know that you were trained in dentistry, not public relations. But this is no more involved than calling the station and offering to do the piece with them. Make this as large or little as you want.

Out of Office Public Event

  • Choose a day to do your event; preferably weekends for the best turnout and walk-up traffic.
  • Reach out to your local Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, or the like.
  • Ask to do free screenings in their parking lot on the chosen date.
  • Partner with the store for marketing, and any other items that they may provide – table, chairs, EZ-Up, or even a promotional banner. The foundation does tons of these a year, but you can do one as well. We can give you the ideas and the things you will need to put on a good screening event. You don’t even have to market the event if you are partnered with your local pharmacy to do it right by their front door where people are coming and going from all day. The traffic will already be there…..

Which of the three events you choose to do is truly the preference of your office and staff. With any of the three options above, the key to a successful screening event is marketing. OCF provides everything from downloadable patient release and referral forms to brochures on oral cancer for the public, and buttons, and wristbands for your staff. A packet of support materials will be sent to your office at no charge in March. A marketing guide on how to promote your office is also part of the downloadable packet, and following its guidelines will help you bring new patients to your office. And while we are talking about doing this in April which is Oral Cancer Month, this is a great practice builder any time of the year.

Opportunistic screening is our best hope of reducing the death rate from this disease. By participating in oral cancer awareness month, you are not only offering a positive service to your community but it is also a great way to build your practice. Many people that come in for screenings will turn into regular patients and may even need additional dental work done.

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Please reach out to Natalie Riggs at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

Materials Provided

A packet of support materials will be sent to your office at no charge in March, including:

  • Patient Education Brochures covering risk factors, signs, and symptoms.
  • Activist Buttons for the staff.
  • Official oral cancer awareness wristbands for the staff.
  • An Oral Cancer Facts Sheet to display in your office.
  • An HPV & Oral Cancer Fact Sheet to display in your office.

Please allow a two-week window for supplies to be sent out from OCF, thank you!

Forms Available for Download

  • Press release
  • Screening release form
  • Referral Forms
  • Ideas/Suggestions on ways to market your event
  • Poster for promotional use

Available Downloads

Please note that each form provided above is to be customized by your staff with information from your office. We want to stress the importance of promoting your free screening event in order to get the public to attend. While OCF will be issuing a national press release driving the public to our events calendar, it is still essential to market your office within your community. We have provided ideas and suggestions for ways to endorse your free screening event. Please plan ahead, and take the time to take advantage of these suggestions.

We thank you for your participation! The OCF Team

Become an OCF Member

Let your patients and community know you are a concerned and involved dental practice by displaying your OCF membership plaque in your office. We will also provide you with more patient education brochures, and a lapel jacket button.

One of our missions and that of the dental and medical community is to raise people’s awareness of a disease that is taking a life every hour of the day in the US. We encourage medical and dental offices as well as treatment facilities and hospitals to routinely have days in which the public may come to their office or facility and receive a simple visual and tactile screening at no charge. So while it is important that the national awareness month (April) has hundreds of offices and doctors opening their doors to the public, the disease does not go away in other months. Please consider having routine public screening days throughout the year as your practice and facilities schedule will allow. The foundation’s calendar system will accept your screening events all year long, our staff will help you understand how to properly promote your event, and we will provide you with the necessary forms, posters, and educational handouts that you need to have a successful event. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call the foundation and discuss with our staff your needs and ideas to be engaged in this important effort.

Get Involved

As a private individual, company, or member of the medical-dental profession, do you have a blog, a website, or another vehicle in which you can reach out to others? The viral spread of the oral cancer message, and a need for national attention to a disease that is growing in incidence every year, and which many knowledgeable treatment professionals are using the word epidemic to describe, can cascade public awareness into positive change.

Put a link on your site to the Oral Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of the diseases. Grassroots viral spread of the idea is an inexpensive means of achieving our goals of reducing deaths from oral cancers through early discovery. A couple of simple facts such as; 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it will help people understand that it is not rare, and screening for it is as important as their cervical, prostate, breast and other exams cancer exams that are now so common to us all. With the billions of websites, and social networking entities like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. out there, will you help make this message go viral?

Help us spread the word about oral, head & neck cancer awareness month by posting this banner on your blog or website. Just copy the code below the banner and paste it into your desired page. If you use Twitter please press the button.

Help promote Oral Cancer Awareness Week on your own web site

Copy the code in the window below and paste it on your web site, blog etc. to help spread the word about this national effort.

Help Spread Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Spread the word about the Oral Cancer Foundation

Copy the code in the window below and paste it on your website, blog, etc. to help spread information about the disease, and the work of OCF.

Learn more about what a proper oral cancer screening is like from a layperson’s perspective.

OCF’s Partners for the Oral Cancer Awareness Month

In 2021, LED the manufacturer of the VELscope Screening Device are the foundation’s Platinum Partner Sponsor. LED’s generous financial grant has underwritten the costs of all the supplies used in this year’s campaign. We are indebted to this firm for its generosity.

All of OCF’s partners have worked hard to contact their members and customers to make this year’s screen month a success. If your organization wishes to become an official partner of the foundation and the oral cancer awareness, please contact the foundation’s director, Brian Hill, at 949-723-4400 (Pacific time zone)