The word “cancer” on its own is scary. While celebrities have boosted awareness of a number of cancers, Oral Cancer hasn’t received much-needed publicity. Yet, Oral Cancer has some alarming statistics. We are taking this April as an opportunity to boost awareness, which we hope you’ll pass on to others…
• Oral Cancer has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers.
• Oral Cancer takes the life of one American every hour of every day.
• This year, nearly 50,000 in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer, resulting in about 10,000 deaths.
• The poor survival rate is because Oral Cancer is typically found after the disease has advanced.
• For those who are diagnosed with Oral Cancer, over 50% will not live more than 5 years.
• Treating Oral Cancer can be horribly disfiguring.
• Oral Cancer is more than twice as common in men as in women.
• The average age of Oral Cancer diagnosis is 62 with more than a fourth occurring in ages 55 and younger.
• Cases of Oral Cancer have been on the rise due to its links to the human papilloma virus (HPV) in males and females.
• Oral Cancer occurs in the tongue, tonsils & oropharynx, gums, base of the mouth and in other oral tissues as well as the lips and salivary glands.
• A small percentage of those who are newly diagnosed with Oral Cancer will develop another cancer nearby, such as the larynx (voice box), esophagus or lung.
Because of the often-disfiguring treatment and deadly statistics associated with Oral Cancer, we use advanced technology to detect signs at early stages. ViziLite is an early detection screening for Oral Cancer that is performed painlessly and quickly.
ViziLite uses a light source to illuminate suspicious areas in the mouth that are not apparent in a visible exam. If found, we can advise the patient on immediate steps to take.
It is also important to be familiar with the signs of Oral Cancer. These include:
• Swelling, lumps, rough or crusty spots on the lips or inside the mouth
• White, red, or speckled spots in the mouth
• Difficulty swallowing or moving the tongue
• Numbness or pain on the face or in the mouth
• Persistent pain in the ear
• Sores that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
• Feeling something is caught in the the throat or having a persistent sore throat
• Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
Please react to these signs or symptoms with immediate response. If you have not had an Oral Cancer screening in the past year, call 910-254-4555 for an appointment.