It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully. An oral cancer exam can help detect early signs of cancer. The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. Your regular dental check-up is an excellent opportunity to have the exam. During the exam, your dentist will check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer.
- Approximately 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and one will die from it every 24 hours.
- Oral cancers can develop on your tongue, gums, inside of your lips or cheeks, the floor or roof of your mouth, tonsils, or throat.
- On average, 64 percent of those with the disease will survive more than 5 years.
- Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women.
- Discuss your head & neck exam at your next dental check-up.
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can prevent the most common cause of head and neck cancer. It is most effective when given between ages 9 - 14. Ensure your loved ones get the vaccine.
- Avoid tobacco. Researchers estimate that 70% to 80% of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Frequent and heavy alcohol consumption raises the risk of cancer of the mouth or throat.