MAKING LAS VEGAS A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE
Smiles for Survivors: Organization helps cancer patients with oral care
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- When a woman is battling breast cancer, the least of her worries is her smile. But doctors say, the chemo radiation and other drugs that attack cancer, also attack the mouth.
Dr. Mark Degan goes over the images of decay and disease with Karen Goldsmith; images she knows well, "There was no way I wanted to go out in public and look like a zombie because I had no teeth on the bottom, because they'd fallen out."
Like many breast cancer patients, Karen's mouth took a beating during her treatments.
Smiles for Survivors is helping her. The foundation was started by Dr. Olya Banchik after her mother survived cancer.
"They've lost so much. Their hair, teeth, breasts, breath, and there was something I could give them, which was a smile," said Dr. Banchik.
Dr. Banchik then reached out to other dentists and Dr. Degan, who is a surgeon. They all readily agreed.
Smiles for Survivors is holding a fundraiser at the Foundation Room from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 inside Mandalay Bay.
Dr. Banchik is hoping to expand the program to other states and maybe even other cancer patients, but first she needs more dentists who are willing to take on one or two patients a year.
For more information on the organization, click here.