Oral cancer is the largest group of those cancers which fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include such things as mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, and throat cancer.
Approximately 42,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. This includes those cancers that occur in the mouth itself, in the very back of the mouth known as the oropharynx, and on the exterior lip of the mouth. There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), a newly identified etiology, and the same one which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. A small percentage of people (under 7 %) do get oral cancers from no currently identified cause. It is currently believed that these are likely related to some genetic predisposition
According to the American Dental Association, there is recent good news about progress against cancer. It is now easier than ever to detect oral cancer early, when the opportunity for a cure is great. Currently only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.
Know the early signs and see your dentist regularly.
You Should Know:
Regular Dental Check-ups Important
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.
Our practice has the skills and tools to ensure that early signs of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. We can help you fight and win the battle against oral cancer.
Request an appointment or call our office to schedule a personal consultation during your next visit.
Daniel R. Pestana, D.D.S.