LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health Dentistry Providing Free Oral Cancer Screenings

oral screening

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry faculty and students are offering free screenings to detect oral cancer every Wednesday in April, which is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. LSU Health New Orleans dental and dental hygiene students will perform the screening exams under faculty supervision at the LSU Health New Orleans Dental and Medical Primary Care Clinic, 1111 Florida Avenue.

Appointments can be made between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon or between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. on April 3, 10, 17 or 24 by calling 504-412-1680. Although appointments are preferred, walk-ins will be accepted as time and space permit. If something is found that requires further attention, patients will be referred to an appropriate resource for further testing and/or treatment.

Screening to detect oral cancer early improves both treatment options and survival.

Oral cancers include cancers in the larynx, throat, lips, mouth, nose, and salivary glands. According to the National Cancer Institute, oral cancers account for approximately 3-4% of all cancers in the United States. These cancers are more than twice as common among men as they are among women. There were an estimated 51,540 oral cancers diagnosed in 2018 with 10,030 deaths.

LSU Health New Orleans’ Louisiana Tumor Registry data showed that from 2010 to 2014, Louisiana had the 3rd highest incidence rate and 2nd highest death rate from oral cavity and pharynx cancer of any state in the nation.

Tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) increase the risk of oral cancers. HPV has become increasingly recognized as a risk factor for oral cancers. HPV infects an estimated 12,000 American people aged 15-24 a day. The fastest growing population developing oral cancers is young, healthy, nonsmoking people.

Symptoms may include a lump or a sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty in swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice. Symptoms specific to the mouth include white or red patches on the gums, the tongue, or the lining of the mouth; a swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable; and unusual bleeding or pain in the mouth.

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry has teamed with the Academy of General Dentistry to create an educational resource for people to learn about oral cancer. It can be accessed here. Additional news and information, including research, public awareness, advocacy, and patient support, regarding oral cancer, can be found online here.

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Media Contact

Leslie Capo

Office: 504-568-4806

Cell: 504-452-9166

The LSU Health New Orleans Dental and Medical Primary Care Clinic (located on the campus of LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry on the I-610 side of Florida Avenue across from the multistory dental buildings) provides most commonly needed dental and primary care services, by appointment, year round. Walk-in services are also available as time and space permit. Although many forms of insurance are accepted including Medicare and Medicaid, patients without insurance can apply for services on a sliding-fee scale.
LSU Health Dental and Primary Care Clinic