Third annual New York City oral cancer walk set

March 11, 2008
New York University and Columbia dental students, Harlem Hospital Center, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, and Renaissance Health Care Network team up April 19 to stamp out oral cancer.

Students from New York University College of Dentistry and from other local chapters of the Student National Dental Association--in partnership with the Harlem Hospital Center, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, New York University, Columbia University, and Renaissance Health Care Network--will lead New York City's Third Annual Oral Cancer Walk April 19.

The goal of the walk is to raise awareness of a disease that kills more than 7,000 Americans each year.

Last spring, the Second Annual NYC Oral Cancer Walk attracted approximately 500 participants, up from just less than 300 walkers in 2006. The walk raised more than $30,000. This year, the goal will be to double both the number of walkers and the funds raised.

The walk is taking place in Harlem to call attention to the fact that oral cancer disproportionately affects African-American men, who have the highest rates of oral cancer in the United States.

If detected in its earliest stages, however, oral cancer is easily treated. The key is early detection and prevention. Major risk factors are tobacco and heavy alcohol use.

Free oral cancer screenings and general health screenings will be available immediately following the walk.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. April 19 at Marcus Garvey Park Auditorium near 122nd St. West & Mount Morris Park West, Harlem, New York City.

Welcoming ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. and the walk begins at 11 a.m. Participants will receive a map of the walk route (approximately four miles) when they register.

The first 600 registered walkers will receive free T-shirts with the Oral Cancer Walk logo. All walkers must have at least one sponsor. Each walker must collect a minimum of $20 in sponsorship. There will be special prizes for the three walkers who raise the most money.

Dr. Ross Kerr, clinical associate professor of oral & maxillofacial pathology, radiology, and medicine at the NYU College of Dentistry, and the faculty advisor for the walk, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with the Harlem Hospital Center, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, and Renaissance Health Care Network, to bring the message that early detection of oral cancer saves lives. And April is just the beginning. In August, NYU dental students will be back in Harlem to do additional oral cancer screenings as part of HEAL--the Healthy Eating/Healthy Living Initiative--sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Harlem Hospital Center."

Additional sponsoring groups include the Oral Cancer Foundation, the Oral Cancer Consortium of New York and New Jersey, and ABC 7.

Registration details, walker donation forms, and more information are available at NYC Oral Cancer Walk.

To read more about oral cancer, go to oral cancer.

Also, go to exam, journey, fight and intervention.