Date of Defense

Summer 6-19-1997


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Gyula Ficsor, Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Frederick Oppel

Third Advisor

Joan Westendorp, Cancer Center


malignant tumors, epithelial tissue


Cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx have increased throughout the decades. Since oral cancer represents a small percentage of the total cancers in the United States, it is often overlooked. Though this is the case, the results of this cancer can be devastating. To address this issue, an Oral Cancer Screening was organized on August 14, 1996 at the West Michigan Cancer Center in Kalamazoo. This was a joint collaboration between the author, the West Michigan Cancer Center, and the Kalamazoo Valley Dental Society. This event allowed research to take place concerning the data obtained. Confidential results and information concerning the screening were compiled, analyzed, and compared to national statistics about oral cancer. Furthermore, the screening provided a reference for future screenings for cancers of the oral cavity. By providing access to a free screening opportunity, participants were able to address their health concerns as related to oral cancer. Likewise, the data also enhanced health awareness, possibly influencing people in the community to consider oral cancer as a more serious cancer-related cause for death in the United States.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access