DH -- I've known Adele Reiche for several years. Adele is a dental consultant and speaker from California. She and I have shared a podium on occasion. I recently heard Adele speak about a wonderful organization known as the Allana Smiles Foundation that assists cancer patients. Adele reminded me that cancer touches EVERYBODY (in fact, we have at least one investigator who is a cancer survivor), and I was quite moved by what she said, so I pledged Prosperident's assistance. I'll let Adele tell the story:
What is The Allana Smiles Foundation and why is it so important for Cancer Patients?
As a dentist, I’m sure that you help many people in your community. I want to bring to your attention one small thing that you can do that can make a huge difference.
Did you know that many cancer patients are forced to wait for potentially life-saving treatment because they can’t afford the “dental clearance” needed before starting treatment?
The mission of the Allana Smiles Foundation is to provide essential dental care and assistance to newly diagnosed cancer patients - patients whose treatment cannot proceed until they have been determined by a dentist to be orally healthy and stable. For patients receiving cancer treatment, preventing delays caused by infection is critical. By reducing the risk of developing dangerous infections, dentists play a huge role in pre-treatment preparation.
Unfortunately, many cancer patients can’t pay for even basic dental treatments and therefore can’t begin to receive cancer treatment. Oncology centers usually have specific protocols to prevent dental flareups during treatment, including the restoration of caries, root canal therapy (if time permits), extraction of hopeless teeth, and dental hygiene care.
Additionally, for certain cancers, such as head and neck cancers, a patient must have optimal oral health in order to undergo treatment at all. Because cancer treatment normally lowers immune response, patients are prone to developing oral infections or complications.
At Allana Smiles, we believe that no one should be held back from cancer treatment because of a lack of dental care. Imagine the anguish of a newly-diagnosed cancer patient realizing that they can’t begin chemotherapy or oncology treatment because they can’t afford the prerequisite dental examination and treatment.
This problem is real - and together we really can make a difference with dentistry and touch the lives of millions of everyday Americans.
So how can you, a Dentist, get involved?
Become an Affiliate Member and bring smiles back from the brink…
The Allana Smiles Foundation invites you to become involved. In some communities, at least six patients are referred monthly for dental clearance and social workers report that typically four patients are in dire need of financial assistance.
Partnering with The Allana Smiles Foundation prevents these patients from postponing treatment. Modest means should not result in people being deprived of vital cancer treatment. Not while we can come together and help them. We encourage general and specialist dentists to get involved by becoming Affiliate Members of The Allana Smiles Foundation.
Our Affiliate Member Dentists:
· Know that cancer can affect anyone.
· Agree to provide a dental clearance for at least 1 cancer patient per month at no charge, allowing the patient to begin treatment.
· Spread the mission of the Foundation with their colleagues so they can get involved too.
· Are listed by state on the Allana Smiles website (AllanaSmiles.org) along with their logo and link to their website.
IT’S TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH DENTISTRY. Can you imagine not being a part of the solution to this national problem? We all know someone who has been affected by cancer- none of us are alone in the fight. It is our hope that the Foundation encourages and inspires others, just as Allana herself did. Please visit our web site at Allanasmiles.org.