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EARLY DETECTION IS THE BEST WAY TO BATTLE ORAL CANCER. 34,000 AMERICANS ARE DIAGNOSED EACH YEAR

- April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month -

PARSIPPANY, NJ (April 1, 2008)

Nearly 34,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. With nearly one life lost every hour of every day, oral cancer claims more lives than cervical cancer, brain cancer, skin cancer, and Hodgkin's disease. In recognition of National Oral Caner Awareness Month, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation encourages patients to request an oral cancer exam during their regular checkup or attend a free screening in their area on April 24.

“Many people are not aware of this deadly disease,” said Dr. Scott Navarro, Vice President, Professional Services and Dental Director, Delta Dental of New Jersey. “In fact, 25 percent of those diagnosed have no risk factors for oral cancer. It is crucial for patients to ask their dentist for an oral cancer exam during their regular checkup.”

Oral cancer exams, which take less than five minutes, are painless and involve an evaluation of the mouth, gums, throat, and tongue by a licensed dentist.

Who is at risk? 
Oral cancer is most common in men, African Americans, adults over 40, smokers, and heavy alcohol drinkers. However, one out of four cases occurs in non-smokers and people under age 30. Other causes include too much sun exposure to the lips and poor diet. Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the number of young people and women developing oral cancer who do not have traditional risk factors.

Early detection saves lives 
Like many cancers, the key to surviving oral cancer is early detection. Detecting oral cancer in its early stages is imperative and can dramatically increase the five-year survival rate.

For information about free screenings in your area on April 24, please contact the offered by the Oral Cancer Consortium’s Screening Information Line at (877) 263-3401.

Source: Oral Cancer Foundation

About Delta Dental of New Jersey
Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc., is New Jersey’s and Connecticut's leading dental benefits carrier, providing coverage to more than one million people through contracts with employers in New Jersey and Connecticut. The Delta Dental system offers seamless dental benefits administration for employer groups throughout the country and the largest network of credentialed dentists in the nation. For more information visit us on the Web at www.deltadentalnj.com.

About the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation
Delta Dental established the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation in 1986. Its mission includes promoting and assisting educational projects devoted to the enhancement of dental health, research programs designed to increase public awareness of the general benefits of good health, and to improve dental health through the science of dentistry. Each year, the Delta Dental Foundation provides financial support to various organizations throughout the state.

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