Oral cancer kills roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours a day. Close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Take a look at some more alarming statistics courtesy of oralcancerfoundation.org…of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.
That’s approximately 57%, a number which has not significantly improved in decades.
The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, testicular cancer, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).
Sacramento Dentist Shows Why the Oral Cancer Death Rate is So High
Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the oral cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today, (2013) that statement is still true, as there is not a comprehensive program in the US to opportunistically screen for the disease, and without that; late stage discovery is more common.
Keep Dental Appointments to Catch Oral Cancer
Another obstacle to early discovery (and resulting better outcomes) is the advent of a virus, HPV16, contributing more to the incidence rate of oral cancers, particularly in the posterior part of the mouth (the oropharynx, the tonsils, the base of tongue areas) which many times does not produce visible lesions or discolorations that have historically been the early warning signs of the disease process.
Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can get progressively worse without producing pain or easily recognized symptoms.
LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA: Academy Award winning actor and oral cancer survivor, Michael Douglas, has joined the Oral Cancer Foundation’s campaign against the deadly disease back in 2012. Last year Mr. Douglas helped produce a public awareness announcement to educate people about the need for annual oral cancer screenings to detect signs as early as possible.
With our dental health directly connected to our overall health, do we need any more reasons other than cost, comfort, and convenience to keep those dental appointments?
Check out this oral cancer video courtesy of Henry Schein:
We welcome you to share any dental patient news you come across on how we could all save some money by keeping dental appointments.
More Facts & Figures – OralCancerFoundation.org
Sacramento Oral Cancer Screenings: Catch Cancer at the Dentist
If you would like to schedule an oral cancer screening, please call our Arden Square dental office at (916) 488-1933. At the dental office of Dr. Arben Celaj, D.D.S., we serve patients in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood, Rancho Cordova, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Elk Grove, & all of North Sacramento.