Putting some teeth in cancer issues


It's always fun for me to get a call from a former student from my tenure at Southern Methodist University. Such was the case last fall when I got a call from a young man named Norberto Diaz, who had been my student more than a decade ago. Come to find out he had taken a new job, and, while he had called to catch up, he was also calling to tell me about his new job with a Dallas dentist named Dennis Abbott whose specialty is working with oncology patients. Of course, he knew my history, and he knew I was working at a cancer publication. When he began telling me about what Dr. Abbott was doing, I was intrigued. We had never done a story on dental issues around treatment, but I still could recall the pain of oral mucositis during my treatment. For days I walked around with a mouth full of liquid pain killer. Back then they had little to offer me but pain killer. Today Dr. Abbott has much more for his patients. It turns out that dental issues are huge for head and neck cancer patients as well as those who have problems with their teeth before starting any kind of therapy. We did a story on dental issues in our winter issue and had a number of readers say something along the lines of, "it's about time you talked about dental issues." So, we are going to do it again. This time in a facebook chat – tomorrow, April 12, at noon on our facebook page. Come join us and talk directly to Dr. Abbott about your dental issues.

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