Did you know in the United States one person dies every hour from oral cancer? Over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer every year. If it is discovered and diagnosed early, the five year survival rate is 84%. However, if oral cancer is not found until the later stages, the five year survival rate is only 39%. The good news is your dentist and dental hygienist at Dental Design are trained to look for oral cancer and any signs of tissue change in your mouth. Screenings are painless and take less than two minutes to complete.
Who’s At Risk?
Oral cancer, like most cancers, are a results of many risk factors. They include: behavior, substance, condition and family history. Men are at a higher risk than women. With African American men being at a higher risk factor than Caucasian or Hispanic men. Risk also increases with age, especially after the age of 45. However, in the past few years oral cancer has been on the rise in younger adults because of the sexually transmitted disease Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Patients who use tobacco of any kind and consume alcohol, even infrequently, are also at a very high risk.
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📰Using the SEER database, the Oral Cancer Foundation makes an annual prediction for the incidence of oral and oropharyngeal cancers each year in the US. The SEER network of institutions that report covers about 28% of the US population. When OCF began in 1999, the annual incidence rate had held steady for many decades at about 30,000 people. Since this time, the number has steadily inclined, and OCF estimates that 53,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer in 2019. These numbers are sobering and sad. Almost 11,000 individuals will die from this cancer in 2019, also an increase over last year. The foundation has been issuing estimates since 2002, and with a retrospective eye, we have been very accurate in our estimates. We have always believed that some of this is alterable, if not in our generation, in our children’s. But much has to change for that to occur.📣 . . . #oralcancer #oralcancernews #ocf #oralcancerinformation #cancersupport #information #cancerawareness #cancerinformation #data #seer #cancerestimate #dental #rdh #research
- Tobacco: Almost all oral cancers are linked to tobacco use. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, chewing tobacco, snuff and hookah. Second hand smoke has also been studied and increases the changes of developing oral cancer.
- Alcohol: The more you drink the greater your risk. When combining alcohol and tobacco a persons risk for developing oral cancer does not double, it multiplies.
- HPV: Many types of HPV are spread through sexual contact, including oral sex. HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the highest incidence of oral cancer not linked to tobacco or alcohol use.
- Family History of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): SCC is the most common form of oral cancer. If you have a parent, sibling, or child diagnosed with SCC, your chances of developing oral cancer is higher.
- Sun Exposure: Fair skinned people and those who work in the sun are at a greater risk to develop lip cancer.
- Diet Low in Vegetables and Fruits: Like most cancers, a poor diet lacking vegetables and fruits increases the risk of oral cancer. Carotenoids, found in both vegetables and fruits, has been proven to lower the risk of oral cancer.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Studies show patients who are missing teeth, have periodontal disease or gingivitis and do not seek regular dental care are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
Prevention Is Key
If the dentist or dental hygienist notice anything abnormal he or she will take an intraoral photograph of the lesion. A measurement will be taken and they may recommend further testing via adjunctive screening tools, biopsy or referral to an oral surgeon for a consultation. Remember the earlier the lesion is detected the higher the survival rate. Be sure to schedule your routine preventative hygiene appointment with us today.