NYU raises over $60,000 dollars for oral cancer research

May 6, 2014
The NYU community recognizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Across the nation there have been stories about dental professionals working together to recognize Oral Cancer Awareness Month. On April 27th, dental professionals joined cancer survivors, those affected by cancer, and other caring citizens to participate in New York City’s Ninth AnnualOral Cancer Walk.

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New York University Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing students, residents, and faculty were among the hundreds who lent their support to this year’s event. Their efforts helped raise awareness for oral and pharyngeal cancer, a disease that kills over 8,000 men and women in the United States each year.

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According to a press release issued by NYU, this year’s walk took a record number of walkers on the four-mile route over the Williamsburg Bridge from Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan to Bushwick Inlet Park in Brooklyn. Over 875 walkers participated, raising over $60,000 for the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF). The OCF is a national public service, non-profit entity designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy, and patient support activities.

“We are pleased to announce that we exceeded our $60,000 goal,” said Jacqueline F. Green, NYC Oral Cancer Walk 2014 co-chair and NYU College of Dentistry DDS Candidate, 2014. Green went on to thank some of the event’s top fundraisers, Dr. Ivy Peltz, Candace Lee, the Saving Smiles Charity event. Special recognition was given to Peltz and Associates, which raised over $19,000.

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In addition to the walk, participants heard the inspirational stories of two oral cancer survivors, Natalie Carillo and Eva Grayzel. The Smiling Faces, Going Places dental van also offered free oral cancer screenings. The screenings were provided by NYU College of Dentistry students and faculty with the assistance the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center team.

The event highlighted key aspects of the fight against oral cancer: awareness, prevention, and early detection. If detected in its earliest stages, many cases of oral cancer are treated easily with positive patient outcomes.

According to NYU College of Dentistry Oral Cancer Walk Chair Dr. Alexander R. Kerr, the OCF directs its money in a number of key areas. “The OCF channels the Walk’s donations into worthy research projects with meaningful results,” said Kerr. “As an example, the work of Dr. Maura Gillison, a major research force behind the discovery of the association between HPV 16 and oropharyngeal cancer, has been funded by the OCF.”

Kerr added, “It is inspirational to see how Khadine Alston, a senior DDS student in 2005, began it all, and now Jackie Green and Yelena Lange are passing on the torch again. Our wonderful students are to be congratulated for their dedication and activism; it is across the span of their collective careers that they will surely make a difference in the fight against oral cancer.”

Additional contributing sponsors and participants included: Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Columbia, Stony Brook, students from other chapters of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), participants from the Oral Cancer Foundation, the Oral Cancer Consortium and QWASI.