Oral Cancer Kills 1 American Every Hour of Every Day

Oral Cancer facts:

  • Strikes 3 times as many victims as Cervical Cancer
  • Just as common as Leukemia
  • Claims more lives than Melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Has been linked to HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • 2/3 of the time detection is too late with only  a 22% 5 year survival rate
  • Detected early, the survival rate increases to 80-90%
  • One of the few cancers where the incidence has been increasing over the last 30 years as opposed to other cancers which have effective screening technologies
  • 1% of men and women born today will be diagnosed with oral cancer during their lifetime

Dental examination is needed  for the following non-dissipating symptoms:

  • Red and white spots or lesions in the mouth
  • A lump or mass inside the mouth or neck
  • Difficulty in swallowing, speaking or chewing
  • Hoarseness that lasts for a long time
  • Numbness in the mouth or face area
  • Persistent ear ache can also be a sign

Risk factors:

  • 3 out of 4 people diagnosed with oral cancer are regular tobacco users
  • Heavy alcohol use, and when combined with tobacco use increases the risk up to 37 times
  • About 95% of oral cancers are in people over 40 years old (average age of diagnosis is 60)
  • Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer
  • Exposure to HPV-16 virus (Human Papilloma Virus) increases the risk of oral cancer

Cancer IS Preventable – Early Detection is Key!

  • A yearly pre-cancer exam performed by a dentist or hygienist helps prevent oral cancer.  The exam inspects all of tissues inside the mouth including: the roof, the floor, the inner and outer lips, inside the cheeks, all sides of the tongue (top and bottom) and the back of the mouth.  You should receive this exam more frequently if you have one or more of the listed risk factors. A biopsy may be indicated if an unidentified red and or with area persists for over two weeks.