Oral Cancer: Awareness, Knowledge and Prevention

As oral healthcare providers, we are on the front lines of helping to identify and prevent many diseases such as oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 53,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019. The good news is that it can often be found early through a quick and painless head and neck screening. This is an important reminder to place great care and emphasis on this screening during the oral diagnosis and treatment planning of patients in our clinics. With early detection, survival rates are high, and the side effects from treatment are at their lowest.

April is recognized nationally as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. The Oral Cancer Foundation has a variety of educational resources online to help the public better understand oral cancer. Feel free to explore the resources at https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/

In addition, the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance has designated April 7-16 as Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. You can learn more about that initiative at https://www.headandneck.org/ohancaw.

In April and during every other month of the year, we are in a unique position to perform screenings and educate our patients in order to help people lead healthy lives.

Some cases of oral cancer are linked to a common virus called human papilloma virus (HPV). There is a vaccine available against the HPV virus. For more information, visit https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/hpv/hpv-oral-cancer-facts/