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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I came to work for OCF from a well known surf brand. I specialize in everything "web 2.0" aka Social Media. At the foundation I spread awareness reaching out to those in need of aid and those who maybe never heard of oral cancer. The largest challenge that we face are the lack of people screened annually for oral cancer- which in turn equals to the lack of people that are aware. As stated on the OCF website- one person every hour of every day dies from oral cancer. No one is excluded from that statistic, even if you don't smoke. Before working with OCF, I had no idea. What many people do not know is that OCF's ability to help people does not stop with oral cancer. I have never had oral cancer. I haver never had a family member with oral cancer. I have never even had a close friend with oral cancer... but OCF has helped me. This foundation, the founder, the volunteers and the people on the forum have all helped to make me a better person. I have spoken to people who have survived oral cancer, are going through oral cancer, have recently been diagnosed with oral cancer and have lost loved ones from oral cancer. Hearing their stories gives me the momentum and pushes me to fight harder everyday to help them and prevent anyone from having to go through this. The experience I have working at OCF is truly priceless and has made me cognizant of the importance of helping others. Because of OCF I go to sleep every night proud of who I am.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Oral Cancer Foundation provides many helps to communities around the US to raise the awareness of Oral Cancer. Their walks help involve many and raise money for needed research and imortant information. It is very helpful to have an organization as well informed, active, and caring as the OCF involved in helping patients and professionals.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have sent all of my patients to this web site with great results. Everyone has thanked me for hooking them up to such an informative and open forum. I believe this site has all the elements that can assist a patient when face with the news of possible cancer and its effects on their life.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure and honor of writing several website articles, news releases and other communications materials for the Oral Cancer Foundation over the past year or so. I could not be more in awe of the commitment of the Foundation and its founder, Brian Hill, to promoting early detection of the disease and to serving as a vital resource to oral cancer victims and their families and friends. Before Brian created the Foundation, public awareness of this surprisingly common and fatal disease was extremely low, and victims had very little access to desperately-needed information and advice. All one has to do is talk with an oral cancer victim to appreciate what a spectacular job the Foundation has done in filling this void. Particularly impressive to me is how the Foundation's online forums brilliantly allow oral cancer survivors to provide insight, counsel and comfort to more recently-diagnosed patients. The pain and suffering these amazing people have experienced is exceeded only by their compassion for their fellow victims. What many people do not realize is how tirelessly Brian works on behalf of the Foundation. For Brian it is virtually a 24/7 obsession, and his wife Ingrid also volunteers a great deal of her time despite the fact that she works full-time elsewhere. Moreover, the Hills' personal financial commitment to the Foundation has been truly above-and-beyond the call of duty, particularly when you consider that Brian's impressive track record as an entrepreneur would make it easy for him to accept a high-paying offer to run a private or public company. The impact that Brian Hill and the Oral Cancer Foundation have made to date is probably impossible to measure. However, if you speak to Brian, it is clear that this impact pales in comparison to what will be accomplished in the years to come.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank god for the Oral Cancer Foundation. Although oral cancer kills one American an hour, it is disease which has been largely unknown by the general public. However, this is slowly beginning to change based in part on the great website that OCF runs, but more importantly by all of the public awareness that has been generated in recent years by OCF. OCF has also lobbied effectively for more funds for oral cancer research, and for the American Dental Association to pay more attention to the condition. Arguably, nothing a dentist does for a patient is more valuable than an oral cancer exam, and too few dentists do this exam on a routine basis. OCF is helping to change all of that.