A larger focus can be put on other cancers of the body… and that can be a problem since oral cancer can be present with very few signs or symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. Joe Cochran, DDS wants to get the word out to our community about the devastating nature of oral cancer and encourage our friends and neighbors to get serious about keeping up with regular oral cancer screenings.
Here are a few important facts and statistics from the Oral Cancer Foundation :
- Close to 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year
- It will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day
- Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years
- The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and many others
- Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.
- Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors
- Often oral cancer is only discovered when cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intraoral area. Besides the metastasis, at these later stages, the primary tumor has had time to invade deep into local structures
- It is estimated that approximately $3.2 billion is spent in the United States each year on treatment of head and neck cancers
Fortunately for you, Dr. Cochran is specially trained in discovering and diagnosing oral cancers. If it has been a while since your last dental exam, or you have noticed any unusual patches or sores that won’t heal in your mouth, please call our South Bend dental office today. It could save your life.