Nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States each year. That is more than 130 people every day, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. One person will die from oral cancer every hour.
Oral cancer is the largest group of head and neck cancers and includes cancer of the mouth, tongue, tonsils and throat. Tobacco users should definitely be screened since tobacco is a major risk factor for oral cancer.
Something many people in the general public do not know is that the fastest growing segment of oral cancer is among patients who are young, healthy and non-smoking. This is due to the connection between oral cancers and the Human Papilloma Virus, commonly known as HPV. This same virus is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.
Because of the relationship of the HPV virus and oral cancer, the doctors at Horton and Vranas, DDS, highly encourage both their male and female patients ages 11-26 and/or parents of these patients to discuss the HPV vaccine with their physicians as this vaccine may help prevent oral cancer.
When found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% survival rate, says the Oral Cancer Foundation. Unfortunately the majority of oral cancers are often found only in the later stages and this has resulted in the statistic that nearly half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer will die within 5 years.
Regular oral cancer screenings are essential to diagnose oral cancer early so it can be successfully treated. Dental exams should always include an oral cancer screening. Doctors Horton & Vranas, along with their hygienists, always provide an oral cancer screening during each dental exam. If you have not had a dental exam recently, please contact Horton & Vranas to schedule this important screening.
Horton & Vranas DDS, 2210 Dean Street, Suite #H, St Charles, IL 60175