April is Oral Cancer month. Please give us a call if you have any questions.
- Oral and pharyngeal cancer, grouped together, is the sixth most common cancer in the world.
- Close to 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 9,575 deaths. Of those 48,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades.
- The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid.
- The risks of oral cancer are aggravated by HPV16 and tobacco smoking. With sexually transmitted HPV16 rates increasing, oral cancer patients are increasingly young, healthy and non-smoking individuals.
- Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors. This means that patients who survive a first encounter with the disease, have up to a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer.
- It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States each year on treatment of head and neck cancers. (2010 numbers).
- The good news is that a dentist or a dental hygienist can see or feel the precancerous tissue changes which might lead to a cancer. The examination takes less than 5-10 min of your time.
- Visual and tactile exam is inexpensive, painless and quick.
- Everyone over age of 18 should be screened annually.