Our patients rely on us to be experts in oral health. Your dental team is your #1 defense against Oral Cancer – in fact, a lifesaver, literally. No other medical professional is as well suited to address this potentially deadly disease in its early stages. The key is to identify abnormalities in the mouth in their most easily treated stage of development.
There is a simple technology to help in the fight against oral cancer. Velscope Vx aids in the early detection of abnormalities that can lead to cancer and has been approved by the FDA to be the only adjunctive early detection system currently on the market. Annual Velscope exams allow us to deliver you superior care.
Statistics of Oral Cancer:
- Every hour of every day, one American dies of oral cancer.
- The death rate in the United States for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the brain, liver, testes, kidney, or ovary.
- More than 30,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year. In five years, only 57% will still be alive.
- 25% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or alcohol and have no other lifestyle risk factors.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors:
- Patients ages 18-39 with lifestyle risk factors are at an increased risk
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) positive
- Patients over 40 years old who use tobacco or have quit within the last 10 years
- Patients over 40 years old who consume alcohol as little as 1 drink/week
- Patients with history of oral cancer
- Patients with family history of cancer of any kind
The HPV Connection:
In recent years, younger males as well as females have accounted for an increasing percentage of oral cancer victims. It has been documented by numerous studies, there is a known link between oral cancer and the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, or HPV.
One type of HPV — the HPV-16 strain — is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, the fastest-growing type of head and neck cancer.
About 20 million Americans currently have an HPV infection. According to the CDC, an estimated:
- 7,080 men and 14,720 women develop cancers associated with HPV types 16 and 18 every year.
- 60% of oropharyngeal cancers, and nearly all cervical cancers are HPV-related.
- HPV-related disease costs an estimated $8 billion annually.
Early Screening May Affect Mortality Rates
The impact of HPV is one reason that, despite the decline in tobacco usage, oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose incidence rate has not improved in the past 50 years.
The cancers that have seen a major decline in the mortality rate have included colon, cervical, and prostate cancer, and the primary reason is increased screening and earlier detection. We feel there is every reason to believe that increased screening and earlier detection will have the same effect on the mortality rate of oral cancer.
Excerpt taken from: http://www.velscope.com/education/overview/oral-cancer/