October 17, 2007

Oral cancer, blood pressure screenings available

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – With studies showing rates of oral cancer and high blood pressure higher among blacks than the general population, a student group at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is teaming with a local agency to offer screenings and information to help fight that trend in this region.

"Aim for a Healthy Body and Soul" is coming to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 803 N. Robert Stalls St. in Carbondale, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 28. The Student American Dental Hygienists' Association, an SIUC registered student organization, with sponsorship help from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Gamma Kappa Omega Chapter, will provide free oral cancer screenings. The Jackson County Health Department is also launching the "Body and Soul - A Guide to Healthy Eating" program, with information about how healthy eating can lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer and maintain healthy blood pressure. Student hygienists will also provide free blood pressure screenings.

Sherri Lukes, associate professor in the School of Allied Health and faculty adviser for the hygienists association, said they hope to empower blacks in the region to learn more about oral and cardiovascular health. In addition to the screenings, they'll dispense educational materials about oral health, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Participants can enjoy a light, healthy lunch and register for door prizes.

For more information, contact Ada Ford at 618/684-3143, ext. 159.