Oral cancer is the sixth deadliest cancer in the world, claiming one life an hour here in the United States. While most cancer survival rates have increased over the past 40 years, the five-year survival rate of oral cancer has remained below 50%. The primary reason for this is due to the late detection of oral cancer. The majority of oral cancer cases are not diagnosed until later stages when the survival rate is low. When diagnosed in its early stages, the five-year survival rate dramatically increases to 90%. Research has shown an increased risk of oral cancer among people age 40 and older, smokers, smokeless tobacco users, and drinkers. However, 25% of oral cancer victims do not represent any of these risk factors, including those under age 30.
Our practice has incorporated oral cancer exams into the standard of care in our practice so that our patients receive the most complete exam possible. It is recommended that all adult patients have an oral cancer exam annually and can be done during your annual check-up. It could be Life Saving!!