Touro University Nevada Medical Students Achieve 100% Match Rate/Residency Placement During Match Day

By | Education, Press Release

The Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrated incredible news after having a 100% residency match/placement rate for the soon-to-be graduates of the Class of 2019.

The celebration began inside The Terrace on March 15 when the Class of 2019 and their families filled the room for the inaugural College of Osteopathic Medicine Match Party.

Students were called in alphabetical order to pick up their envelopes, the specialty, and location of their residency inside. Before they opened their envelopes, Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, asked the students to take in the moment and think about how much work it took for them to get there, and to thank those who helped them achieve this goal.

Following the brief moment of anxious silence, screams could be heard throughout the room as students found out where they will do their residencies.

“I’m so relieved that I was able to match here in Las Vegas,” said Mahdika Underwood, who will do her residency in Pediatrics. “I had received offers from California and Florida, but my family and I love it here, so we are thrilled to be staying.”

Not only did the College of Osteopathic Medicine have a 100% match/residency placement rate, more than 20% of the students will stay in Nevada to complete their training.

Aaron Prado, who matched in his first choice of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Cincinnati, credited his classmates and faculty for helping him achieve his dreams.

“I can’t thank Touro enough for getting me to this point. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here,” he said. “I’m so excited for all of the support they’ve given us to get to this moment, as well as the support they’ll give us in the future.”

Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium Opens New Multi-Discipline Simulation Center

By | Education, Press Release

SIM Center Supports Resident Education and Physician Development with equipment such as Virtual Reality

The Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium, based at MountainView Hospital, today celebrated the opening of its Simulation Center, an interactive learning facility where residents can practice and hone their skills.

The facility, open 24-7 to compliment full-access learning, includes tools such as “SIM Mom” and “SIM Man” and robotic surgery. The center is also home to a virtual reality console, one of two in North America.

The Sunrise Health SIM Center was supported in part through a grant from the State of Nevada to further physician development and resident educational opportunities in our state. 

“While there are other SIM Centers in the valley, the Sunrise Health GME SIM Center is unique in that it is based at the hospital, allowing residents to visit the center at any time,” said Dr. Ferenc Puskas, Sunrise Health Medical Education Consortium Designated Institutional Official. “SIM Centers are impactful when they are used. With the proximity to the hospital and the GME resident offices and the unique equipment available to train with, our residents are able to garner the most benefit from the center.”

Brian Mitchell, Director of the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology said: “Graduate Medical Education is an important part of Nevada’s strategy to grow its physician workforce and increase access to high-quality healthcare.  We’re excited to partner with Sunrise Health to provide new residency programs and state-of-the-art simulation for Nevada’s next generation of doctors.”

Residents, as part of their chosen specialty, must work through the SIM Center curriculum, using the different equipment. Training includes everything from a simulation of a mom giving birth, to robotic and laparoscopic surgeries. The virtual reality module offers an immersive learning experience, using a virtual reality station with goggles and an ultrasound probe.

The Simulation Center curriculum and equipment encompasses the following:

• Robotic surgical simulation console

• 3D Systems/Simbionix Ultrasound Mentor

• Laparoscopic virtual reality

• Endoscopic virtual reality

• SimMan and SimMom

• Blue Phantom ultrasound-able training models

• Two fully equipped patient rooms

• Debriefing room

• Laparoscopic simulation room

• Surgical procedure lab

• All rooms are able to convert to simulated operating room

“We are thankful to the state of Nevada for its grant that assisted in building and equipping the GME SIM Center,” said Jeremy Bradshaw, MountainView Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “The future growth of graduate medical education in our state will take a community effort, as we strive to recruit and retain the brightest residents in Nevada.”


Valley Hospital Celebrates Graduate Medical Education

By | Education, Press Release, Uncategorized

June 28 White Coat Ceremony Welcomes New Residents, Fellows

60 Percent of Graduating Class to Remain in Las Vegas

On June 28, 2018, Valley Hospital welcomed a new class of 24 medical residents and four Fellows with a traditional White Coat Ceremony.  The White Coat Ceremony is considered a rite of passage in the journey toward becoming a physician.  It marks the medical student’s transition from the study of preclinical health sciences to clinical service.  As part of the Ceremony, short white coats of a medical student are discarded and long white coats of a physician are officially presented.  The long white coat is the symbol of physician clinical service.

Since 2006, Valley Hospital has offered physician residencies and fellowships for physicians-in-training after they complete medical school, known as graduate medical education. Valley Hospital has watched its physician graduates open or join private practices, work as hospitalists, continue their medical training with the military, or enter fellowships for further specialized training.

Valley Hospital offers residency programs in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology and Orthopedic Surgery, along with Fellowships in Gastroenterology and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine.

“A residency program not only trains new physicians, but it introduces them to their network of referring physicians and future patients,” said Elaine Glaser, CEO of Valley Hospital. “A 2017 report from the American Association of Medical Colleges showed that 54.5 percent of physicians who completed residency training from 2007 through 2016 are practicing in the state where they completed their residency program.* That’s an important statistic as the local healthcare community works to recruit and retain physicians to meet Southern Nevada’s growing demand for providers.”

Statistics from Valley Hospital’s graduating class include:

Overall, 60 percent of Valley Hospital’s graduating residents and fellows will remain in Las Vegas to work in private practice, as hospitalists, in outpatient clinics, and with local Fellowship opportunities at Valley Hospital (Gastroenterology or Pulmonary/Critical Care) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine Sports Medicine Fellowship.

Two of four graduating Fellows (50 percent) are entering private practice in Las Vegas with specialties in gastroenterology or pulmonary/critical care.

Nearly 40 percent of the graduating Residents have been accepted into Fellowship Programs.

With its second graduating class, the orthopedic surgery residency maintains its 100 percent Fellowship acceptance rate with graduates being accepted at the University of Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Spine Surgery Fellowship, in Philadelphia, PA and the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship, Beacon Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH.

Other Valley Hospital residents have been accepted to out-of-state fellowship programs in:

  • Infectious Diseases Fellowship, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, TN
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California Nephrology Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA
  • Banner University Medical Center Phoenix Endocrinology & Metabolism Fellowship, Phoenix, AZ

“I’m proud that our program has developed outstanding physicians who have been accepted to well-known fellowships,” said Glaser. “It speaks to the quality of our physician leadership, faculty and program.”


MountainView Hospital Welcomes 2018 Class of Medical Residents During White Coat Ceremony

By | Education, Press Release

The 2018 Residency Class Includes Numerous New Programs

The Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium this week welcomed its 2018 residents to MountainView Hospital.

The class of 2018 includes residents in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, OB-GYN, Transitional Year and the inaugural classes of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine. This is MountainView’s third class of residents, with the program launch in 2016.

The white coat ceremony is a tradition to welcome new residents to the facility and present them with their first long physician’s coat. The symbol of the white coat is a promise that its wearer has made each and every patient whom he or she encounters: the promise to heal and to care.

“This is the coat you will reach for when you go to deliver your newest patient, and you will grab it when you go to say goodbye to a patient, and everything in between,” Dr. John Nunes, MountainView Chief Medical Officer, said during the white coat ceremony. “You have earned this coat through hard work, and will continue to earn it each day as you wear it in service to your patients.”

The class of 2018 Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium residents includes:

·         Anesthesiology (inaugural class): 6

·         Emergency Medicine (inaugural class): 9

·         Internal Medicine: 20

·         Obstetrics/Gynecology: 6

·         Surgery: 9

·         Transitional Year: 13

“These new residents join MountainView Hospital during an exciting time of growth and transformation, as we continue to grow our service lines and expand the hospital footprint to meet the needs of our community,” said Jeremy Bradshaw, MountainView Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal with today’s white coat ceremony is to welcome these residents into the MountainView family and bring them into our culture of caring and commitment.”

This year, Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium’s program received a significant amount of applications for a limited number of positions. To list a few, the Internal Medicine residency program received 2,500 applications for 20 positions and General Surgery received 906 for nine positions.

MountainView Hospital launched its Graduate Medical Education program in 2015 with the accreditation of its Internal Medicine Residency Program from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), welcoming its first residents in 2016. Since that time, MountainView Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center received approval from the ACGME to join forces under the Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium, and continued to receive accreditation for General Surgery, Family Medicine, OB-GYN, Transitional Year, Emergency Medicine, and Anesthesiology.

Together with Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, the Sunrise Health Consortium welcomed 84 new residents in early July in several residency programs, including Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, OB/GYN and Transitional Year. Following the incoming classes at both locations, there will be 153 Sunrise Health GME Consortium residents.

The physician shortage has hit the state of Nevada, which ranks 47 out of 50 states in number of physicians per capita with only 200 physicians per 100,000 residents (the state median is 257.6). To address this issue, the Sunrise Health GME Consortium, through its MountainView, Southern Hills, and Sunrise hospitals, is strengthening Nevada’s physician pipeline by training new physicians to care for our communities. Providing residency programs to retain and attract new physicians to Nevada is integral to increasing the physician base in the state.

MountainView Hospital Matches First Pharmacy Resident Program Class

By | Education, Press Release

MountainView Hospital recently announced its first class of Pharmacy residents for the Pharmacy Residency Program beginning in July 2018.

The announcement was made during the annual Phase I of the Match results day – when postgraduate year one or two pharmacy students learn where they will be spending the next year or two as pharmacy residents.

The talented group of three residents will be the first class of postgraduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residents at MountainView Hospital.

MountainView Hospital’s Pharmacy Residency Program received 64 applicants for three positions. Of the 64 applicants, 20 were invited for an onsite interview.  All three positions were filled by matching with three of their top five candidates through the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) National Matching Services.

MountainView’s inaugural class will include:

Peter Froio is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate for 2018 with Roseman University in Henderson, Nevada. Froio not only goes to school in Las Vegas, he also grew up in Las Vegas. He currently works at Sunrise Hospital as a pharmacy technician while doing clinical rotations throughout the valley. His professional interests span the scope of acute hospital practice.

Anita Lee is studying for her Doctor of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University, where she also completed her pre-pharmacy coursework. While at Southern Illinois University, she also competed at tennis on the Division I level. Anita has interests in critical care, cardiology, infectious diseases and academia. Lee is originally from Las Vegas.

Jamal Sims is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate, also from Southern Illinois University. He has served as the School of Pharmacy Class of 2018 President since he began pharmacy school in 2014. Jamal is interested in academia, ambulatory care and oncology.

“We are very excited to welcome and meet our first class of Pharmacy residents,” said Francisca Akoh, Residency Program Director at MountainView Hospital. “Our program provides highly specialized rotations that aren’t always present or easy to find all in one program, and brings a diverse pool of clinical pharmacist preceptors from around the country whose diverse and wide range of experiences make the residency program rich.”

This year, 6,505 applicants enrolled in the Match for PGY1 pharmacy positions and 5,236 applicants participated in the Match, according to an official summary report of Phase I Match for positions beginning in 2018 provided by ASHP[i].

The ASHP is responsible for establishing the rules of the Match and monitoring the Match. The administration and conduct of the Match is carried out on behalf of ASHP by National Matching Services Inc.

MountainView Hospital’s Pharmacy Residency program is separate from the Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium and is solely based at MountainView Hospital.


May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

By | Education, Press Releases, Recent Releases

Hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and affects millions of people in the United States, many of whom are not aware they are infected. May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and a reminder and opportunity to discuss hepatitis risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Hepatitis Awareness information also includes a Hepatitis Risk Assessment and encourages people to discuss their risks with a health care provider.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that may have no symptoms and may not be detected for many years. Chronic hepatitis infections are a leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis. There are immunizations to protect against hepatitis A and B, and as a result, hepatitis A cases have declined dramatically.

According to the CDC, hepatitis B disproportionately affects Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States with about one in 12 infected with the virus. Although they make up less than 5 percent of the United States’ population, they account for more than half of Americans living with hepatitis B infection. Additionally, two in three of those infected are unaware as people can live with hepatitis B for many years without having any symptoms. Hepatitis B can be transmitted from a mother to her baby and can also be sexually transmitted.

People born between 1945 and 1965 should get tested for hepatitis C. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults. About 50 percent of people with hepatitis C infection are unaware they have it because they can be asymptomatic for decades. Many people with hepatitis C have no reported risk factors. Hepatitis C is more common among people who received blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992 and injection drug users. The CDC recommends that anyone with a history of injection drug use or unprotected sexual contact with multiple partners also be tested for hepatitis B and C. There are approximately 3.2 million people with chronic hepatitis C in the United States with about 29,700 new infections each year. Both chronic hepatitis infections can be treated, and hepatitis C in particular has a very good success rate.

Throughout May, hepatitis C screenings will be available from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, 401 S. Maryland Parkway as well as immunizations for hepatitis A and B for at-risk adults. For more information, contact The Center, (702) 733-9800. Hepatitis C screenings are also available each Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Trac-B Exchange, 6114 W. Charleston Blvd. For more information, contact Trac-B, at (702) 840-6693.

In addition, the CDC estimates that about 25 percent of HIV-positive people are also infected with hepatitis C, and between 50 percent and 90 percent of injection drug users with HIV infection also have hepatitis C. HIV co-infection more than triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure, and liver-related deaths from hepatitis C.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: Follow the Health District on Facebook:, YouTube:, and Twitter: The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website:



Health District Reports First Human West Nile Case

By | Education, Press Releases, Recent Releases

The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting its first human case of West Nile virus in Southern Nevada in 2017. The individual, a male over the age of 50, has the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. The Health District will not provide additional information regarding this individual. There were two reported West Nile cases and three cases of St. Louis Encephalitis, a similar mosquito-borne illness, in 2016.

“Mosquito bites and the diseases spread by infected mosquitoes are preventable,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Health District. “Southern Nevada residents can take preventive measures against mosquito bites and simple steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources around their homes to protect themselves, their families, and communities.”

West Nile virus is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes that have acquired the virus by feeding on infected birds. The illness is not spread person to person. Many people with the virus will have no symptoms or very mild clinical symptoms of illness. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back. In some cases, the virus can cause severe neurologic illness and even death.

The Southern Nevada Health District’s Vector Surveillance Program regularly tests mosquito pools for West Nile, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine Encephalitis. To date, 444 mosquito traps have been set and 10,074 mosquitoes submitted to the Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Laboratory for analysis. All mosquitoes submitted have been negative for disease. The program also conducts surveillance for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the two species known to spread the Zika virus. These mosquitoes have not been detected in Southern Nevada, but have been found in neighboring states.

The Health District recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:

·         Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone.

·         Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors.

·         Eliminate areas of standing water around your home, including non-circulating ponds,

“green” swimming pools, and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.

Additional prevention tips are available on the CDC’s Prevent Mosquito Bites webpage.

Travel associated cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Clark County residents, as well as one case that was sexually transmitted. The Zika virus can also be spread from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

For more information on Zika virus, travel precautions, and special precautions for pregnant women, visit the CDC’s Zika Virus website. Go to the Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance webpages for information about surveillance activities, prevention tips, and more. For additional information on eliminating breeding sources, access the CDC’s Controlling Mosquitoes at Home webpage.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: Follow the Health District on Facebook:, YouTube:, and Twitter: The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website:


Winning Schools in the 10th Coaches Health Challenge Get Visits from UNLV Coaches

By | Education, Press Releases, Recent Releases

Encouraging kids to eat more fruit and vegetables and to be physically active is the annual goal of the Coaches Health Challenge. This year, students from 210 Clark County School District elementary schools participated in the program and earned a record-breaking 460,378 points – each point equals a serving of fruit, vegetables, or 15 minutes of physical activity. For their efforts, a UNLV head coach will visit each of the winning classrooms to congratulate the students for their efforts and to encourage them to continue to make healthy choices and to be physically active.

The annual Coaches Health Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Southern Nevada Health District, the Clark County School District, and UNLV Athletics. The Challenge encourages grade-school children to choose healthy food and to participate in physical activity. Each year, the winning classrooms receive tickets to UNLV sporting events in addition to the grand prize winning classrooms receiving a visit from a UNLV head coach.

A UNLV head coach will be visiting the following Coaches Health Challenge winning classroom:

·         2nd Grade – Mack Elementary School: Men’s basketball head coach Marvin Menzies, 8:30 a.m. Wed. May 3, Mack Elementary 3170 Laurel Ave Henderson, NV 89014

For information about the annual Coaches Health Challenge program or tips about adopting a healthy lifestyle, visit Get Healthy Clark County or call the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at (702) 759-1270. 

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: Follow the Health District on Facebook:, YouTube:, and Twitter: The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website:


Respectful Communication in Nursing

By | Education

“Respectful communication is the bedrock of medicine.” This simple, but powerful statement penned by Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a Stanford Medicine neurosurgeon who succumbed to cancer in 2015, serves as an inspiration for Oligens Sulo, RN, MSN, skills lab coordinator and assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine.

“When teaching communication techniques to students, I always share Dr. Kalanithi’s story and ideas,” said Sulo. “I tell my students that whatever you do in the hospital, or other patient setting, remember respectful communication. It helps build patient trust.”

This is especially important when patients and their families are experiencing the many feelings often associated with facing sickness, says Sulo. “They may be anxious, sad or fearful, and may take it out on you as one of the primary care providers, but if you approach the situation with respectful communication and empathy, the patient will in turn respect and trust you, and the care you’re providing them,” he adds.

Sulo says that part of what helps nurses to be respectful and effective communicators is a focus on simplicity. The latter creates a framework of clarity on the nursing process that enable students to become critical thinkers. “I teach my students simplicity,” he said. “Whether in the simulation lab or in teaching didactic curriculum, I break everything down to simple terms that students will understand, so they can do the same for their patients. It helps them communicate with patients and provide holistic care, focusing on the patient as a whole, rather than just the disease.”

Sulo’s understanding of the power of communication came in 1998 in his native Albania, when he served as a volunteer translator helping refugees during the brief, but brutal war in neighboring Kosovo. Though he did not have any healthcare experience at the time, he ended up working closely with the medical team of a Norwegian NGO that was providing care to thousands of refugees.

“I helped the doctors and nurses communicate with the refugees, helping them understand the medical care they were receiving and how to take their medicines,” said Sulo. “I also witnessed the caring and compassion demonstrated by the healthcare providers. It made me realize the desire I had to care for people.”

Following his work as a volunteer, and with a drive to pursue a nursing career, in 2000, Sulo moved from Albania to the U.S. and landed in the nursing program at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. After earning his associate degree in nursing, he went on to earn his RN to BSN from Madonna University and his master’s degree in nursing from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Sulo completed an internship at Oakwood Hospital and worked for two years in the surgical unit at Henry Ford Hospital and eight years at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, rotating through various units, including stints in trauma, observation and urgent care. It was during this time that Sulo began teaching nursing students.

In 2014, Sulo joined Roseman University’s College of Nursing where students have embraced his teaching style and communications techniques, especially in the nursing skills lab where students have an opportunity to fine-tune not only their hands-on clinical skills, but also how to interact with patients and other healthcare professionals.

“I’m a people person. Whether working in a hospital or teaching students, I build connections,” said Sulo. “I like to help students connect with patients and their peers as well. Respectful communication is what makes it possible.”

Jason Roth
Vice President, Communications
Roseman University of Health Sciences

Advocate, Screen & Educate in the Fight Against Oral Cancer

By | Education

A foundational element of Roseman University’s mission is to “impact the health, education, and wellness of the communities it serves,” and the University delivers on this promise in many ways. Awareness and education about diseases impacting the lives of those around us is–and has always been–a part of Roseman’s work in the community.

the 4thAnnual Oral Cancer Foundation 5K Walk/Run for Awareness on April 8, hosted by Roseman’s American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Chapter. The event was held at the East Riverfront Park in South Jordan, Utah. Despite the rainy, cold day, there were 96 participants, approximately 65 oral cancer screenings administered and over $7,200 was raised for the Oral Cancer Foundation.

On the Summerlin Campus, two Roseman faculty, Dr. Kishore Chaudhry, MBBS, MD, DNB, Research Professor in the College of Dental Medicine and Dr. Carolyn Glaubensklee, BS, MS and PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, came together to present “Surviving Oral Cancer” to over 30 community members in the evening of April 20.  They provided unique perspectives of cancer survivor, physician, and researcher. With cancer survivors and caregivers of those with cancer in attendance, it was a very moving event.

While Dr. Glaubensklee and Dr. Chaudhry spoke of Oral Cancer from different perspectives, they jointly communicated that screening and early detection are both key in fighting this disease.  For Dr. Glaubensklee, an irritated area in her mouth was diagnosed as Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Dr. Glaubensklee was not a smoker, nor did she have any of the risk factors for the disease. After several surgeries and multiple rounds of radiation, and the love and support of her family and friends, Dr. Glaubensklee is cancer-free.

Dr. Chaudhry focused on the multiple risk factors for Oral Cancer, including tobacco or smokeless tobacco, heavy alcohol use, HPV infection, genetic factors, oral hygiene, Candida infection or chronic trauma. With over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer. More research is needed on vaping and whether or not it too leads to increased risk of Oral Cancer.

In 2016, about 48,330 new cases of Oral Cancer were diagnosed in the U.S., with roughly 9,570 deaths in the same year. The disease seemed to be decreasing in prevalence in the 1990s, but has shown an increase in recent years. NIH projects the number of new cases in 2017 is likely to be close to 50,000.

Overall, five-year survival rates have increased marginally from 57 percent in 1990 to the current rate of 64 percent, largely due to early detection. However the potential of early detection has not been fully realized which if fully implemented could increase the five-year survival rate to around 90 percent. In Nevada, 15.8 percent of cancers in males are attributed to Oral Cancer, and in women, 5.4 percent of cancers are Oral Cancer. Incidence rates of this disease rise sharply between the ages of 45-50 and in Nevada is significantly higher than cervical cancer, a disease which women are screened for through annual pap smears. It is an irony that we don’t yet have a screening program for oral cancer which can be detected early merely by clinical examination and without sophisticated tools.

The need for increased oral screening is very real, for early detection is critical in this disease. With very few symptoms, signs of Oral Cancer are painless small ulcers, nodular lesions or growths. Consistently swollen or sore gums can also point to a problem. White or red painless lesions may precede cancer by many years and their identification can help in preventing invasive cancer. With a long preclinical phase, these lesions/cancers can be easily identified by trained physicians, dentists and paramedical workers through careful visual inspection and palpation. But patients must know the warning signs and alert their medical professionals to a potential problem. After biopsy, CT, MRI or PET scan, staging ensues which helps guide the course of treatment. Stage I and II Cancers are effectively treated like Dr. Glaubensklee’s cancer, with Surgery and Radiotherapy. Stage III and IV would include additional chemotherapy, Chemo-radiation, or therapy targeted at genes.

There is much research yet to be done. Roseman University wishes to embark on an Oral Cancer Screening Program, which will both help patients as well as provide invaluable data to begin to answer some of the outstanding questions that still exist. Information gaps exist in the understanding of the course of this disease, such as transformation rates of OPMD’s (Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders) to invasive cancer, frequency of screening, genetic/biochemical changes connected to various stages, and development of standardized clinical follow up algorithm with identification of relevant biomarkers.

For those interested in learning more, please join Dr. Chaudhry on December 7, 2017, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Summerlin Campus to hear about Dr. Chaudhry’s work published in the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research on Pan Masala (a chewed tobacco common in India): Habits and Risk of Oral Precancer: A cross-sectional survey in 0.45 million people of North India. Please RSVP by calling 702-802-2872.

Includes excerpts from the Neighborhood Health Series presentation, “Surviving Oral Cancer,” on April 20, 2017.

Vanessa Maniago
Special Advisor to the President
Roseman University of Health Sciences