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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health

Mission: The Oral Cancer Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 charity that works to provide information about this disease to the public, advocate for patients, and provide support services to them. OCF operates the world’s largest real time, patient-to-survivor interactive support service via the web, and the foundation’s main information web site, which contains thousands of pages of information, receives over 22 million hits per month. We are also sponsors of research, primarily in the area of detection mechanisms that facilitate the discovery of the disease at early stages when survival rates are the highest.

Results: *WINNER OF THE CANCER FIGHTERS AWARD FOR SMALL NON-PROFITS* Oral Cancer Awareness Month – April Oral Cancer awareness in the American public is low. Approximately 45,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Dentists are often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early discovery. While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. This is your opportunity to get involved and give back to your community in hopes to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives. Together, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world of oral cancers. Please join us. Rodeo - Tobacco Outreach - "Be Smart. Don't Start.” Rodeo cowboy, Cody Kiser, and cowgirl, Carly Twisselman, have partnered with OCF to spread a simple message to the youth at rodeo competitions, “Be Smart. Don’t Start.” The foundation is a big believer that in order to solve problems, you have to become engaged where the problem lives. Kids look up to athletes, not just in rodeo, but major league baseball and elsewhere as “heroes” that they would aspire to be like. Unfortunately no hero is ever perfect. OCF has begun to program to put alternative role models out in the world of rodeo cowboys athletes, with the intention of reaching young people before they make addictive choices that will harm them later in life. With Cody and Carly’s support, we expect to have a larger presence in the rodeo world, and reach many more young people with our anti-tobacco message. Be Part of the Change: The RDH community is uniting to be part of the much needed change in early discovery of oral cancers. With their commitment to performing oral cancer screenings and being the first line of defense they have the opportunity to find cancer in its early stages. Early discovery and diagnosis, yields better long-term outcomes, and lower morbidity to those who undergo treatments. In addition to screening patients they see in their daily practice, we have partnered with hygienists across the county to build screening teams to perform free oral cancer screenings in their community. A combined effort between professional engagement and public awareness is essential in order to raise awareness of this silent killer and educate the public about the importance of an annual oral cancer screening.

Target demographics: While historically the majority of people are over the age of 40 at the time of discovery, oral cancer does occur in those under this age. It is also now confirmed that in a younger age group, including those who have never used tobacco products, have a cause which is HPV viral based. The human papilloma virus, particularly version 16, has now been shown to be sexually transmitted between partners, and is conclusively implicated in the increasing incidence of young non-smoking oral cancer patients.

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: Research - Understanding the Implications of Human Papilloma Virus Infection - particularly HPV 16, which is now responsible for the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population. For over a decade OCF has funded core science which has helped us understand this new etiology. Work that has elucidated demographics, transfer mechanisms, future trends of the infection, treatment response, adn more have been produced by our decade long collaboration with Dr. Maura Gillison and her team. Advocacy - OCF was a leader in the effort to expand the use of the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer to young boys, testifying at the CDC vaccine boards over three years. With strategic partnerships formed with other organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the foundation finally achieved this goal. At the NIH, we have advocated for clinical trials in the area of head and neck cancers that our science board deemed urgent. These have included research to determine if the HPV protective cervical cancer vaccines would work as well in other HPV cancers such as HPV16+ oropharyngeal cancer, which is the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population.

Community Stories

180 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Don_15

Client Served

Rating: 5

oral cancer survivor now one year NED. OCF is an incredible resource for gathering real first hand experiences of those who are under treatment and those who have completed treatment. Other resources are invaluable to get up to speed on this cancer and educating those preparing for the difficult journey ahead.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Forum is filled with great amount of real first hand cancer experience. Best place to ask and get direct and honest answers and guidance thorough diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment issues.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

The oral cancer survivors, caregivers, and people still fighting that posted on OCF's Patient Forum provided insight that my husband's doctors could not. Good advice and kind and encouraging words kept him going during some very dark days, and I am very grateful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

OCF is a great community for anyone impacted by oral cancer. Every day OCF replaces fear and despair with information and hope. Best of the best nonprofits.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Even two years after treatment I visit the site several times each week. The community is so sincere, compassionate, and helpful to anyone struggling to deal with this terrible disease. Until a cure is found it is the folks from the Oral Cancer Foundation that will help anyone with the daily questions and struggles. For most people it is so great to connect with others who have already been there, and can reassure you the battle is worth it, and there is still a lot of life to live ahead for you... God bless them all.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a caregiver to someone with oral cancer, I have relied heavily on the OCF forum for support and guidance during and after my husband's treatment. There is no substitute for being able to immediately talk with hundreds of others who have gone through the process before you, and to have this forum available 24 hours a day. I am extremely grateful for the support I have received at all hours of the day and night. I would have felt much more alone and in the dark if I had not found this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great information on head and neck cancer! Provides support for patients before, during, and after treatment. They do good work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

On April 23, 2008, I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on my left lateral tongue. Recommended treatment was a partial glossectomy with reconstruction, neck dissection and 7 weeks radiation with concurrent chemotherapy. Yea, it was all Greek to me too! But with the help of the Oral Cancer Foundation and in particular, the user forums, I was able to navigate my treatment and nearly 6 years after treatment, I'm still here and thriving. I cannot begin to imagine where I'd be, or *how* I'd be without the resources and support I found at OCF.

Uptown

Client Served

Rating: 5

I began this journey July 18, 2003. There is so much to learn and the medical community doesn't manage the side effects of treatment well. Through the Oral Cancer foundation, I have met thousands of people and almost all of them have had suggestions as to what worked best for them. Because of the randomness of recovery, this information proved valuable to me back then and continues to.

I believe the Oral Cancer Foundation provides the most science-based evidence possible to help disseminate all the complexities of treatment.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a 10 year survivor of oral cancer I must say that this journey was made much more tolerable thanks to the OCF community. Not only providing the most accurate, science-based information on any aspect of oral cancer, OCF is diligently educating dental professionals in techniques and information sharing to strengthen the front line battle against this life changing disease.

In addition OCF has provided an on-line community of approximately 9,000 registered users that are either oral cancer survivors, family and/or caregivers with hands on experience in dealing with the diagnosis through post-treatment issues.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Never would I thought my husband would face cancer at the age of 57. What a shock to have oral cancer since he never smoked or drank and it was non HPV. Through this site I have found the information and support that helped me as a caregiver go through this journey of treatment. Often issues would arise from radiation and treatment and I was able to relax and say that is normal from what others had shared of their experiences. There are many knowledgeable people who continue to offer their advice and opinions and share their personal experience. The forum is a place to come to when support is needed from those who have been down the same road because often friends and relatives just don't relate to what we are going through.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In the past month I've been diagnosed with an oral cancer. I began to search for information (in addition to what was provided by my consulting oncologists) and was greatly relieved to find such a great resource as this and so specific to my ordeal. Not merely informational but supportive and caring.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wish I had found the Oral Cancer Foundation before I did, it would have alleviated my suffering greatly.

The amount of "been there, done that" type of information available and freely given by those who have been through this ordeal is both amazing and incredibly useful.

I continue to suffer from recurrences of the cancer (I'm in my 6th at present) and this organization continues to provide comfort and support from the members to the members, God Bless the OCF and its members!

The Oran Cancer Foundation is an organization that deserves support at all levels!