ONLY Fourteen (14 %) of North American patients report knowledge or awareness of their dental office performing an Oral Cancer Screening.
Oral cancer is considered one of the most preventable of all cancers and if detected early has an 80% success rate…!
Oral cancer, detected in late stages, only has a survival rate of 20% 5 years after diagnosis.
• 30,000 are diagnosed with oral cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx each year
• The average years of life lost to Oral Cancer is 16 years, which is one year more than all cancers in general
• 3X more incidence of death annually from Oral Cancer then from cervical cancer
• Squamous cell carcinomas account for 90 percent of the malignant tumors in the oral cavity
• African Americans have a slightly higher incidence then Caucasians
Traditional risk patients have been males over 40 who smoke and drink….. this has changed to 15% of females have Oral Cancer. Seventy five percent of oral cancers are attributed to the use of tobacco of all forms and alcohol use also has been positively correlated with the incidence of oral cancer. Combined tobacco and alcohol use, is multi multiplicative and a substantially greater risk factor than that of either smoking or alcohol use alone
The standard of care widely considered for decades in dentistry is a comprehensive exam in white light of the head, neck, thyroid and intraoral tissue check with palpation. More than75% of all oral cancers can be diagnosed by site or palpation with the most common sites being :
2. Buccal Mucosa
3. Floor Of Mouth
4. Tongue—lateral borders of tongue account for approx. 1/3 of all oral cancers
There is a clinical, moral and ethical responsibility for dentistry to lead, manage and implement early detection for a disease that kills patients.