Outreach, Students

SNDA is Making Strides Against Oral Cancer

The UNC School of Dentistry Student National Dental Association (SNDA) will be hosting their annual Oral Cancer Walk on Saturday, October 22 at 9 a.m. The event aims to raise awareness about the oral cancer, honor survivors and help save lives.

Close to 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer annually. This year, oral cancer will claim the lives of over 8,000 people, or roughly one person every hour. Of those nearly 37,000 newly-diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half-approximately 57 percent-will be alive in 5 years. The mortality rate for oral cancer has not significantly changed in decades and continues to be higher than that of other, more well-known cancers like cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, endocrine system cancers (e.g., thyroid cancer), or skin cancer.

“Since oral cancer isn’t one of the more well-known cancers, it sometimes gets forgotten despite its high mortality rate,” said SNDA President Kareem Redmond. “Hopefully, this walk will bring oral cancer to the forefront of people’s minds.”

This year, proceeds from the event will be donated to the Steve Bridges Fund in an effort to support one of the school’s own who is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. Bridges, a D.D.S. student, was diagnosed in July of this year.

“Steve is important to many of us in the school, and we all want to help him and his family however we can,” said Redmond. “While we hope to raise awareness for oral cancer, SNDA also hopes to make this difficult time easier on the Bridges family.”

The walk will start at the American Tobacco Trail near Kroger. Participants may register for $5 on October 22 or in advance by contacting Kareem Redmond (aquaman@dentistry.unc.edu) or Yonesha Phair (phairy@dentistry.unc.edu).