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Nova Southeastern University
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

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Cancer Survivor Organizes Oral Cancer Walk on Feb. 23

Nova Southeastern U. Dental Student and oral cancer survivor Uyen Nguyen is organizing the walk to raise money and awareness for oral cancers

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. — It was early 2002 when Uyen Nguyen discovered a lesion inside her mouth that looks like a traumatic bruise. But she didn’t follow up.

“I was a busy dental student,” said Nguyen, now a 3rd-year student at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine. “My palate was extremely tender, so I avoided brushing my teeth hard in that area and even switched to a pediatric toothbrush. Later, I developed sharp pains on the right side of my face.”

Oral cancer survivor Uyen Nguyen

Eventually a biopsy was taken and the results were devastating. Nguyen had oral central mucoepidermoid carcinoma, a type of oral cancer.

“I was shocked and confused. I kept asking ‘Why me?’,” she said. “I live a healthy life. I am young and I am a good person. So “Why me?’.”

Nguyen eventually got surgery that successfully removed the cancer. Now she wants to help others by raising awareness and money for oral cancer, a disease that is often neglected.

She is collaborating with the students of Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, NSU chapter; Khadine Alston, D.D.S., an assistant professor of the College of Dental Medicine; and The Truth Outreach Project, Inc. to organize the 2nd Annual Oral Cancer Awareness 5K run/walk at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill. The event will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

“I hope this event will get more people to take this devastating cancer seriously and get checked out regularly,” Nguyen said.

Oral cancer is the seventh leading cancer in the U.S. In most cases, it’s detectable and treatable if discovered in its early stages. Alston and other dentists recommend dental patients be screened for oral cancer annually.

To register for the 5k run/walkathon, please visit

With or without registration, FREE Oral Cancer Screenings will be provided to the community during the walk.  Donations can be on or mailed to The Truth Outreach Project Inc., 5200 N. Federal Hwy, Suite 2, PMB 1108, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33028.  Please, no cash donation.

For more information about the event , please contact Alston or Nguyen,


About NSU College of Dental Medicine: Students of the college benefit from our state-of-the-art educational and clinical facilities, which feature the latest in computer and video technology, and from our distinguished professors, recruited from throughout the United States. The college’s facilities, faculty, and dynamic curriculum have attracted worldwide attention. Students and professionals have come from very diverse backgrounds to pursue their courses of study at the college, but outstanding instruction and advanced technology are only means to an end.

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally with more than 28,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.

Media Contact:
Ken Ma, MBA, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5408 (office), 954-621-7961 (cell),