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Published on August 09, 2012

Asante Physician Partners ENT Rides Cross-Country for Oral Cancer Foundation


Rich Huffaker, MD (l) and Kyle Nelson (r)

Rich Huffaker, DO (l) and Kyle Nelson (r)

Rich Huffaker, DO, a new head and neck surgical oncologist, arrived in Grants Pass on August 7 after a month-long cross-country bike ride that took him and his brother-in-law, Kyle, more than 3,000 miles in an effort to raise awareness about oral cancer, a disease which kills one person every hour of every day in this country.

Dr. Huffaker was recruited to the area by Asante Physician Partners, and he will begin his career at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in September in general Otolaryngology and oncologic surgery.

The public was able to follow Dr. Huffaker’s journey on his website and blog, www.tourdecancer.org, where supporters can still help the men reach their $5,000 fundraising goal for the Oral Cancer Foundation.

“Through my fellowship, I have seen an incredible amount of oral cancer, many times found in late stages, due to a lack of awareness about warning signs. Furthermore, there is now an increase in incidence among younger non-smokers. The desire to raise awareness about this deadly disease, combined with my drive for adventure, inspired me and my brother-in-law to embark on this journey before I start my career in head and neck oncology at the end of August. I hope that our trip helps to educate the public about oral cancer, as well as raise critical funds for research and early detection initiatives,” explained Dr. Huffaker.

The adventure-loving Dr. Huffaker, originally from Colorado, is a graduate of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, where he earned his Doctor of Osteopathy. After his residency, he completed another five-year fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at the Center for Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy (CENTA group) in Indianapolis.

Dr. Huffaker will be practicing with Daniel Fear, MD, an ENT surgeon and specialist in otorhinolaryngology at Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Grants Pass. “I am really looking forward to working with him,” said Huffaker, adding that he and his family are excited about living in beautiful, adversurous Southern Oregon.

Welcome Dr. Rich Huffaker to his new home in Grants Pass now that he and Kyle have finished their amazing journey. To donate or learn more about Dr. Huffaker’s trip, please visit www.tourdecancer.org.  

About Oral Cancer

Approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2012, which includes mouth cancer, tongue cancer and throat cancer. When found early, there is an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. However, due to a lack of public awareness, the majority of cases are found as late-stage cancers that can be killers. The Oral Cancer Foundation is a national public service, non-profit entity designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy, and support activities. Check out www.oralcancer.org to learn more about risk factors, signs and symptoms, treatments, current research, and up-to-date oral cancer related news.

Help Dr. Rich Huffaker stop oral cancer in its tracks today.

Reviewed by Philip Stanley on October 29, 2013

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