Laurie DeRosa RDH
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
According to the National Cancer Institute, oral cancer is more common than leukemia, skin melanoma, cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid, ovaries, and cervix. It is a major cause of disfigurement and death in the United States. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month so now is a good time to learn the signs and get screened as part of your holistic dental preventive care check up.
Oral cancer includes cancers found in the mouth, on the tongue, lips, throat, parts of the nose, and larynx. Seventy five percent of these cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol. Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers.
Current Statistics on Oral Cancer:
One American dies every hour from oral cancer in the U.S.
The oral cancer survival rate has not changed for over 40 years and is approximately 50%
Currently, 70% of oral cancer lesions are identified in late stages
If detected early, oral cancer has a survival rate of 80-90%
The risk of oral cancer occurs in men more than women, is higher in African American men, and more often in people over the age of 40.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer may include the following: