An Alarming Disease You Should Know About

Oral cancer will take one life every hour of every day in the U.S.

While some other forms of cancer are beginning to see increasing survival rates, oral cancer continues to have a poor survival rate, especially if diagnosed in the later stages. Despite all we know about oral cancer, the numbers have not improved in the past decade.

Raising awareness about this terrible disease is very important to me. My wife, my hygienist, and I participated in the 2nd Annual Oral Cancer Foundation Walk in September, at the Busse Woods Forest Reserve. Contributing to causes like this is one way to raise awareness. We also contributed by offering free oral screenings at this event. We encouraged people to stop by, get checked, and to not take any chances.

It is estimated that 41,000 Americans will be diagnosed in the next twelve months.

The death rate from oral cancer is higher than those of other more “common cancers,” such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thyroid, and skin cancers. Although oral cancer is known for having a low survival rate, new evidence indicates that IF DETECTED EARLY, the survival rate soars to 80%-90%.

Early detection is the key.

Unfortunately, the majority of cases are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 45% at five years from diagnosis. This is a disease that we have the opportunity to change drastically through awareness events and early detection initiatives. We are doing our best to take on this mission.

A new trend…

Formerly, oral cancer was known to be caused by smoking. However, we are seeing more instances of this disease stemming from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus. The statistics are alarming. Recent studies show that 25% of young adults have HPV and we are seeing an increase in women and young adults being diagnosed with oral cancer. In fact, HPV is quickly overtaking smoking as the leading cause of this illness.

As you can see, this is not something to be taken lightly. My staff and I are trained to look for signs of oral cancer in the mouth. We use an advanced technology called the Velscope to spot potential problems that are not visible to the naked eye.

Symptoms to look for…

The other way I create awareness is by sharing knowledge. If you know the symptoms of oral cancer, well…knowledge is power and in this case can mean survival. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • A mouth sore that won’t heal
  • Bleeding in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Problems or pain with swallowing
  • A lump in your neck
  • An earache

I believe in building long-term, trusting relationships with you, my staff, and the Elgin, Illinois community. I will continue to do all I can in order to raise awareness and protect our community. I strongly encourage you to call us today and schedule an oral cancer screening. Remember, early detection is critical to improving the end result of this disease. Call 847-742-4212. Learn more about the oral/systemic link here: