Oral cancer is not a rare disease. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 42,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It kills one person every hour of every day, and over 100 new individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. The good news is that it can often be found early in its development, through a simple, painless, and quick screening.
Distinctive Dentistry routinely performs an oral cancer screening for patients at every appointment, however generally, oral cancer awareness and detection efforts in the US are low.
The most commonly known candidates for the disease are older men who have used excessive amounts of tobacco and alcohol. What most people don’t realize is that the leading cause of oral cancers in the US is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), the same virus responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. As a result, the quickest growing segments of the oral cancer population are actually young, healthy, non-smokers.
Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects from treatment are at their lowest. Distinctive Dentistry encourages everyone to have an oral cancer screening at their regularly scheduled dental hygiene appointments. If you need to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at 253.235.4292.