INDIANAPOLIS — Participants in Saturday’s 5K run/walk will be sprayed with foam, silly string and mist, simulating the basic components of oral hygiene: brush, floss and rinse. But it’s all for a serious purpose.
The fun event will take place to raise money and awareness about little-known serious oral conditions in cancer patients.
Money raised from the innovative Root Run: Brush-Floss-Rinse 5K Run/Walk on May 30 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds will go to the Oral Health Care for Cancer Patients foundation at the Indiana University School of Dentistry to support dental oncology education, cancer patient advocacy and financial assistance for essential dental services to underserved and uninsured cancer patients before, during and after cancer treatments.
According to Stuart Schrader, a clinical assistant professor of behavioral sciences in the Indiana University School of Dentistry and the executive director of the Oral Health Care for Cancer Patients foundation, this event is believed to be the first of its kind, underscoring the fact that many people do not know that more than one-third of people treated for cancer develop complications in their mouth. These problems include mouth sores, bleeding of the gums, serious oral infections, increased caries (cavities), periodontal disease, loss of saliva, and decay of soft tissue and/or the jaw bone.
“Head and neck radiation, chemotherapy, and blood and marrow transplants can each lead to painful oral complications,” Schrader said. “Additionally, these serious oral complications can reduce a cancer patient’s quality of life, cause significant pain and distress, increase related health care costs and even sadly lead to death.”
The event, which includes snacks and family-friendly activities, opens at 7:30 a.m. and the run/walk starts at 9 a.m.
Registration before May 30 is $35 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 to 18. Children younger than 2, cancer survivors, their spouses/partners, and caregivers are free.
The only dental school in the Hoosier state, Indiana University School of Dentistry offers an extraordinary learning environment in which teaching, research and community service come together in the best way possible for the preparation of tomorrow’s dental professionals. Founded in 1879 as the Indiana Dental College, the school is in the heart of the state capital of Indianapolis at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, one of eight campuses in the IU system. IUPUI shares its location with the world-renowned IU School of Medicine and its partner, the IU Health academic health center. Many of the dental school’s faculty members have established strong collaborative ties with physicians and other scientists in the medical center facilities. Over 80 percent of the dentists in Indiana are alumni of the Indiana University School of Dentistry.