Each year, thousands of Americans lose their lives to oral cancer. Early detection is the key to successful treatment, which is why Marcos Ortega DDS in San Diego provides oral cancer screenings as part of each dental checkup.
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have received a lot of public attention. There is less awareness of oral cancer, even though it is just as serious. If you smoke or have tested positive for human papillomavirus (HPV), you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.
We work to elevate awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Here are five vital facts about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
- About 80% of people with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
- 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
- In many cases, it is almost impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be examined by a dentist or doctor.
- HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the numerous strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most often linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
- Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
At Marcos Ortega DDS in San Diego, we urge our patients to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. During your visit we’ll perform an oral cancer screening. We provide general and cosmetic dentistry, including Invisalign clear braces.