National Cancer Institute estimates there to be more than 100 types of cancer. Among them is oral cancer. Statistics show that on average, one person dies from oral cancer every hour of the day, 24/7, 365 days a year. Over 50,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers will be diagnosed in the US this year. Oral Cancer Awareness Month helps kickstart the conversation with our healthcare and dental practitioners around the signs and risks of oral cancer.
There Are Two Distinct Pathways to Cancer in The Mouth
Most lesions (around 75%) are related to using tobacco or alcohol. Some are located at the back of the mouth in the oropharynx. If you drink a lot of alcohol and also use tobacco products, you have the greatest risk of getting oral cancer. Dehydration, cirrhosis of the liver, and nutritional deficiencies are associated with drinking. These can also contribute to the development of oral cancer.
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer can often be seen or felt, and any red or white patch, ulcer or lump can be a potential sign. If oral cancer is detected early enough, when the lesions are small, treatment is most effective.
Join the fight to raise awareness of oral cancer. Click here to learn more about Oral Cancer Awareness Month.