At Freedom Village Dental in Jacksonville NC, we urge people to come in twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. If you skip checkups because you don’t think you have any decay, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more convincing reason to keep those regular appointment.
Lung and breast cancer have attracted a lot of public attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives in the United States alone, every single year. If you smoke or have tested positive for HPV, you have an increased risk for developing oral cancer.
We work to broaden awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are five critical things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
- About 80% of men and women with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
- 40% of men and women who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
- In many cases, it is practically impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce unobtrusive symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be examined by a dentist or doctor.
- HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the copious strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most regularly linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
- Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
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