One of the things we celebrate during the month of April is oral cancer awareness. Did you know that approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone? It’s a shocking statistic if you aren’t aware of oral cancer in general. And since your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, it’s a good idea to have a screening done next time you’re in the dental chair.
Ready for another shocking statistic? Oral cancer will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years (approximately 57%). The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer. Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals with the HPV virus.
Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers frequently referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category.
The best defense against oral cancer is knowledge and prevention, so make an appointment to visit the dentist. Catching it as early as possible is the best way to keep ourselves healthy.
For more information about oral cancer screenings, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.
Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.