5 Things You Might Not Know About Oral Cancer
Oral cancer consists of any head and neck cancer (excluding brain cancers – which is its own category). The death rate of oral cancer is unfortunately very high because people find out about oral cancer too late. This is why it is important to practice regular self-examinations in order to be proactive and seek treatment early.
1. 450,000 new oral cancer cases are discovered worldwide each year
While this number is only an estimate, it shows how many people are being affected by oral cancer and why this topic should be taken seriously.
2. HPV is a leading cause of oral cancer
There are many strains of HPV, but HPV-16 in particular has a strong connection to oral cancer. Most HPV strains cause warts or cervical cancer and some have a small connection to oral cancer. For people with HPV, it is important to practice regular oral self-exams in order to be proactive about oral cancer.
3. Oral cancer affects more men than women
Oral cancer affects men over women on a 2:1 ratio. This correlation may be due to men smoking and drinking more than women, although studies have shown oral cancer among women is on the rise. No matter your gender – practice clean oral health practices.
4. Alcohol and tobacco are huge risk factors
These two risk factors are considered lifestyle risk factors. When you think of smoking heavily, your first thought probably is lung cancer. However, that is not the only cancer that smoking causes, as roughly 80% of people with oral cancer are heavy smokers. Alcohol is another huge risk factor as 70% of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers.
5. If oral cancer is discovered early enough, the cure rate is around 90%
The biggest concern about oral cancer is that it is not discovered soon enough. That is why it is important not to overlook any suspicious bumps that appear in your mouth, and to give your oral surgeon a call as soon as you see it.
Head and neck cancers are not usually discovered soon enough. Make sure you are practicing regular self-examinations, and contact any of our offices today for an oral cancer screening!
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