Building Community Relations and Promoting Cancer Prevention: An Oral Cancer Screening Event

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)




cancer screening; community event; education; public health


© American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2020. Communities often call upon their university hospitals to help with health screening events. Otolaryngologists can play an important role in prevention and education. We recently evaluated 285 community members at an oral cancer screening event at a community health “expo.” An intake form and oral exam identified 67 with conditions that warranted further evaluation: 16 for dental follow-up; 25 for further ear, nose, and throat (ENT) evaluation; and 26 for primary care follow-up. One patient was identified with laryngeal cancer after referral for dysphonia. The event served to increase awareness of oral cancer among high-risk patients via educational materials and podium presentations. There was a positive effect on our university’s credibility and reputation in the local community. Medical students interested in ENT received valuable supervised hands-on experience. This screening event identified opportunities for collaboration with local dental societies and primary care physicians for prevention and early detection of oral cancer.

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