Close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer each year. It 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%.
This number has not significantly improved in decades.
Historically, the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.
- More common in men than women
- Most common in African American
- Greater risk after age 35
- Tobacco use
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Prolong exposure to sunlight (lip cancer)
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- The sexually transmitted infection HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
HPV increases incidence or oral cancer in young adults and non-smokers
Human Papillomavirus, the sexually transmitted infection commonly associated with 95% of cervical cancer cases, has been linked to oral cancer.
HPV has caused an increase of cases in young, non-smoking individuals, a group that, until recently, had a low rate or oral cancer incidence.
- Red and/or white patches in the mouth
- Any sore that does not heal within 14 days
- Persistent hoarseness
- Feeling like something is caught in the throat
- Difficulty moving jaw or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain on one side only
- A sore under a denture that does not heal
- A lump or thickening in the mouth or on the neck
Early detection is vital for successful prevention and treatment of oral cancer. Regular visits to the dentist, where they can perform different kind oral cancer screenings, could save your live. One of these newer methods is SapphirePlus lesion detection.
SapphirePlus lesion detection is a new adjunctive technology that, in addition to a visual and physical oral exam, allows your dentist to potentially discover oral lesions early. The earlier cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions are detected, the greater the chances of successful prevention, treatment and recovery. This procedure only takes a few minutes, it is painless and it is proven to help discover oral lesions.
The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, endocrine system cancer and melanoma. Protect yourself and ask your dentist for regular screenings that include SapphirePlus lesion detection.
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