At The Lewisville Dentist we encourage people to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. If you avoid semiannual dental checkups because you don’t believe you have any dental caries, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more persuasive reason to make an appointment.
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have drawn a lot of public attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have acquired HPV, you have an increased risk for developing oral cancer.
At The Lewisville Dentist, we work to raise awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 5 critical things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
1. About 80% of individuals with oral cancer use some kind of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
2. 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%.
3. In many cases, it is hardly possible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce indistinct symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be analyzed by a dentist or doctor.
4. 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 repeatedly linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
5. Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
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