The Oral Cancer Foundation
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a national nonprofit organization designed for advocacy and service, created to promote change and save lives through prevention, education, research, and patient support. Approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. At the forefront of our agenda educating the public about the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of oral cancer and the need to undergo an annual oral cancer screening, combined with reaching out to the dental and medical communities to provide this service as a matter of routine practice.
The Oral Cancer Foundation represents the hope that those who face oral cancer will be supported and that oral cancer will one day be eliminated.
Oral cancer is on the rise in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row. The HPV-16 virus, which has historically caused the vast majority of cervical cancers, has become the leading cause of oral cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use are also risk factors associated with this disease. More and more young, healthy, non-smoking individuals are being diagnosed with this disease due to the HPV connection. The scientific community is beginning to use the word epidemic when describing this situation.
The Oral Cancer Foundation operates a survivor support forum through our website, oralcancer.org. The forum is a place where people with oral cancer, friends and family members who are supporting those with cancer, caregivers, and even interested members of the public can share their experiences and ideas, ask questions, and find inspiration from those who have traveled this path before them. It is designed to facilitate communication among those faced with oral cancer and provide a “human” component to dealing with the disease.
The Oral Cancer Foundation is not a giant entity. It is a composite of many caring people, heavily dependent on volunteers. The Oral Cancer Foundation represents the hope that those who face oral cancer will be supported and that oral cancer will one day be eliminated.
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To learn more about the Oral Cancer Foundation, visit oralcancer.org.
This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, November/December 2011.