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Oral Cancer Exams Save Lives
Contributing Writer: Michael J. Baleno, D.M.D.
You may not realize that your hygienist and dentist serve to screen for many other health issues as well. We are well-versed in many of the signs and symptoms of other systemic pathology that present orally. Whether you realize it or not, a routine portion of every exam is a thorough oral cancer screening.
The Facts on Oral Cancer
- Over 42,000 individuals in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year.
- Of those diagnosed, 64 of 100 survive five years.
- The largest risk factor remains long term use of alcohol and tobacco, as well as exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus).
- As with any cancer, the key to survival, as well as to minimizing the very harmful effects of treatment, is early detection.
- Early detection survival rates are between 80 and 90%.
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