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Six-Step Oral Cancer Screening

Keynote Speaker at ALD 2018 - Eva Grayzel: A Story NOT Silenced by StageIV Oral Cancer: The Value in Patient Education, Accurate Diagnosis, Adequate Follow-up and Specialist Referrals


When dental professionals hear my story, they feel deep in their gut something has to change. I was 33 complaining of an ulcer on my tongue that just wouldn’t heal. In short, my biopsy was read as hyperkeratotic when it was moderate dysplasia. For nine months, I was treated for trauma. My biopsy was never questioned. When I was finally diagnosed, cancer was detected in 3 of 38 lymph nodes.

I was one of the first people in this country to have targeted IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) now the standard of care for head and neck cancer. My radiation oncologist admitted he had never used the new technology for head and neck. I trusted him. This new technology is able to block an area from radiation beams. We opted to block the opposite salivary gland which has provided me a better quality of life.

Treatment for oral cancer is barbaric and devastating. I hit rock bottom unable to take another treatment. My radiation oncologist shared wisdom that helped me endure two more weeks of treatments. I will share details of my late diagnosis and treatment that will change your perspective on screening techniques, developing a standard of care in your office and educating patients about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. When oral cancer is caught early, it’s survivable.

I’m sure if I knew oral cancer was a remote possibility, I would have been more proactive as the sore on my tongue didn’t heal. How do you educate patients about oral cancer and the signs and symptoms? Do you have posters or pamphlets? Or is it something your hygienist mentions in a couple of sentences?

During my keynote presentation at the ALD Conference, on April 26th at 8:00 am, I won’t tell you what to do. I am not a dental professional, but after years of lecturing with experts in the field of oral medicine, oral pathology and oral surgery, my presentation will surprise, inspire and raise the bar on screenings and patient education.

Eva Grayzel