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Smokey Point dentist offers free oral cancer screenings April 25

SMOKEY POINT — Local dentist Dr. George R. Hussey is teaming up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to observe Oral Cancer Awareness Month by offering free oral cancer screenings on Wednesday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hussey cited statistics showing that 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone, and hopes his office's free oral cancer screening can help raise awareness about this silent killer.

"These screenings are more important now than ever because oral cancer is on the rise," Hussey said. "There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long-term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV-16 virus, which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the U.S. Today, we are seeing young, non-smoking individuals as the fastest-growing segment of the oral cancer population."

According to Hussey, when found early, oral cancers have an 80 percent survival rate, but the majority of cases are diagnosed as late-stage cancers, which accounts for the high death rate of about 45 percent at five years from diagnosis.

"Late-stage diagnosis is not occurring because these cancers are hard to discover," Hussey said. "It's because of a lack of public awareness and a lack of a national program for opportunistic screenings. Oral cancer is not a rare disease. It kills one person every hour of every day in the U.S., and 100 new individuals will be diagnosed each day with oral cancer. These staggering statistics make these free events crucial, as awareness of the disease and its risk factors in the U.S. population is so low."

Hussey estimates that each screening should take about five to 10 minutes. Hussey's office is located at 16825 Smokey Point Blvd. in Arlington.

For more information, call Hussey's office at 360-653-5197 or log onto his website at www.drgeorgehussey.com.

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