Global Health Nexus, Summer 2003

Oral Cancer Consortium Screenings Move to April:
Move Will Bolster Efforts to Raise Awareness of Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer Consortium, cofounded by NYU Dentistry in 1998, has moved its annual, free screening day from November to April to coincide with Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, an international event sponsored annually in April by the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.

“We hope that health care institutions and organizations everywhere throughout the United States who conduct free oral cancer screenings will join us in scheduling them during Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week,” said Dr. Hillel Ephros, the 2003-2004 Consortium Chairman. He noted that since the Charleston, South Carolina-based Yul Brynner Foundation had already gotten sites throughout the southeastern U.S. to conduct screenings during this week, the Oral Cancer Consortium’s move to April has virtually doubled its reach.

The Oral Cancer Consortium, which began in 1998 as a local and regional effort by five founding partners — NYU Dentistry, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, the SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, the UMDNJ New Jersey Dental School, and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation — now includes more than 30 institutions and professional societies. The Consortium’s success spurred Boston-area hospitals and colleges to form a similar organization, and also catalyzed a national oral cancer awareness campaign sponsored by the American Dental Association in 2001. Dr. Ephros said he hoped that the ADA would soon sponsor an annual national oral cancer screening day as part of Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.