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Actress Colleen Zenk Pinter Partners with the Oral Cancer Foundation to Raise Public Awareness
Date:11/30/2007

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two time Emmy nominated actress Colleen Zenk Pinter, best known for her long running role as Barbara Ryan on CBS's As the World Turns, has teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to share the story of her battle against oral cancer, and raise public awareness of a disease which kills more Americans each year than more commonly known cancers.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071130/CLF030 )

Zenk Pinter's first stop was CBS's The Early Show. In an interview with co-anchor Hannah Storm, Zenk Pinter revealed how a seemingly stubborn canker sore turned out to be a stage-two malignant oral cancer, requiring several surgeries to reconstruct her tongue, and months of radiation treatments. Zenk Pinter explained to Storm that she believes that her cancer was caused by the human papillomavirus. "I had absolutely none of the historic risk factors for this cancer, I never used tobacco and only drank socially," she said, referring to the two other common causes of the disease.

"In fact, young Americans who have none of the historic risk factors are the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients in the country," Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation says, "and we believe the culprit behind the surge in cases is HPV16, the same virus that causes cervical cancer."

Dr. Mark Lingen, Professor of Pathology at the University of Chicago School of Medicine says, "Colleen was very typical of most Americans in their lack of knowledge of oral cancer. Awareness and routine screening is particularly important, since early discovery is directly correlated to positive outcomes from treatment." HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. At least 50 percent of American adults will acquire the virus at some point in their lives. HPV16, one of the most dest
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SOURCE Oral Cancer Foundation
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