MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ - The Monmouth Cancer Coalition will sponsor its third annual free oral cancer screening drive to raise awareness about the risks of oral cancer and reduce mortality from the disease. Free oral cancer screening exams will be available throughout Monmouth County from April 15th – April 21st at over forty venues including private physicians and dental practices, senior centers, residential treatment centers, hospitals, clinics and family practices. A list of screening sites is available on the Coalition’s website: www.monmouthcancercoaltion.org or by calling toll free at 888-576-9278.
“New Jersey has a significantly higher risk of oral cancer than other states, and Monmouth County is higher than the average of New Jersey counties,” said Michael A. Meddis, MPH, Public Health Coordinator of the Monmouth County Health Department and Chair of the Monmouth Cancer Coalition’s Work Group on Oral Cancer. “We believe that regular health screenings can make a big difference and that education about oral cancer is key to saving lives.”
The campaign consists of two parts: (1) free oral cancer screenings, and (2) public education focusing on risk factors associated with oral cancer. At designated sites, an oral health professional will provide a free oral cancer screening exam for anyone who registers. This is a simple test that can detect lesions or other signs of oral cancer. All adults are eligible to receive the test. In addition, educational materials will be available at senior centers, community health centers, health fairs and other county events.
The initiative is under the direction of Mr. Meddis and Dr. Kayvon Haghighi, an oral surgeon and a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer in New Jersey Workgroup on Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Dr. David Lederman, Chair of the Governor’s Workgroup on Oral and Oropharyngeal Caner, and a Monmouth County resident, is also actively involved.