Free Oral Cancer Screening Offered Oct. 19 in Mountain Home

By David Robinson

The screening, hosted by the UAMS College of Health Related Professions Dental Hygiene Program, will be at the Mountain Home Christian Clinic, 421 West Wade St., from noon to 3 p.m. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Call (870) 425-2260 for an appointment.

Oral cancer (also referred to as mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer and throat cancer) is the sixth most common cancer and has one of the highest mortality rates of all cancers. Early detection is the key to surviving oral cancers, said Nancy Smith, an assistant professor of dental hygiene at the UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) North Central in Mountain Home.

When found at early stages of development, oral cancer patients have an 80 percent to 90 percent survival rate, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation’s website. However, the majority of oral cancers are found as late-stage cancers, which accounts for a death rate of about 45 percent at five years from diagnosis.

“I hope people in this region will consider coming for this quick, painless exam, which we believe will save lives,” Smith said. She noted that 75 percent of oral cancers are a result of smoking and alcohol use and the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus. People in these risk groups are especially encouraged to participate.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or