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“Open wide” – dentists drill for research dollars

News release, 23 September 2015

“Open wide” – dentists drill for research dollars

Dentists are asking Kiwis to put their money to a great cause by going to the dentist on Saturday October 17.

So far, more than 20 dentists have signed up to Dentists with a Cause, and will “open wide”, donating all their fees (less GST) for that day to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation’s research programme. They hope to raise up to $50,000, with more dental teams around NZ expected to get on board.

Gerard Skinner and his team at North Shore Dental founded the charitable movement in 2010 after a young colleague, mother-of-three Leigh Paul, died of breast cancer aged just 29.

“When someone you know gets breast cancer, you do what you can to help them,” Mr Skinner said. “Then you realise there’s a much bigger story, that thousands of women are being diagnosed with this disease, and hundreds are dying every year. Dentists for a Cause is our commitment to do some long-term good for Kiwi women.”

Mr Skinner, who is still recruiting more dentists for the big day, said the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation’s focus on preventing women dying of breast cancer struck a chord with his colleagues. The NZBCF is currently funding research studies to develop new drugs for hard-to-treat triple negative and lobular breast cancers, and studies into biomarkers that will help doctors understand which cancers are most likely to spread and how to treat them more effectively. The Breast Cancer Patient Registers, funded by the NZBCF, give doctors and researchers a detailed picture of how well Kiwi women fare with their breast cancer treatment, and help identify inequalities.

“Dentists for a Cause is a brilliant idea, one that will make a real difference to our research programme,” said Evangelia Henderson, chief executive at the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. “New Zealand has some world-class researchers, and we’re grateful to be able to direct their skills into the field of breast cancer, where there’s still so much work to be done.”

To find a local participating clinic and book in for a check-up, a clean, or any other single-visit procedure, ask your dentist or visit .

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