News Release

LSU Health dentistry grant to help improve oral cancer survival

Grant and Award Announcement

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, LA - Dr. Kitrina Cordell, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, has been awarded a $5,000 grant by the Academy of General Dentistry to develop a school-wide program to teach patients about self oral cancer screening.

"Although the mouth is one of the most readily accessible areas for people to evaluate on their own, the majority of patients are not familiar with signs and symptoms associated with precancerous changes and oral cancers," notes Dr. Cordell. "Early detection is a critical component in improving survival rates."

The program will consist of one-on-one educational sessions for patients with trained oral health care professionals - faculty, residents and students - to include an explanation and demonstration of an oral cancer screening, a printed brochure and information about what to do when something unusual is found. This type of education will allow patients to continue to monitor their own mouths even if they do not regularly seek the care of a dental professional.

Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 90% of oral and oropharyngeal malignancies and represents 3% of all cancers in males and 2% of all cancers in females in the US. African-American men and women have significantly lower oral cancer survival rates.

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the State of Louisiana and educates the majority of dentists, dental hygienists and dental laboratory technologists practicing in the state.


About LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans: LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's most comprehensive health sciences university, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit, or

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