Cancer is never a good thing, but oral cancer is one type of cancer that really goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, the statistics are scary enough to deem April as Oral Cancer Awareness Month in order to make the public aware of what is going on behind the scenes of the oral cancer world. If you are aware of what is going on and what to look for, it will give you a better understanding of oral cancer.
Approximately 53,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. And as you are well aware, your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early detection and discovery, so keeping your regular dental checkups is very important to keeping your mouth healthy and cancer-free. Each dental visit will include a cancer screening in order to ensure there is nothing cancerous is developing.
Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers frequently referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.
If you’d like to find out more about oral cancer, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.wetzelperio.com for more information.
Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from Camp Hill and all surrounding areas.