This oral cancer information brought to you by my treatment assistant, Julie
Almost 37,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year in the U.S. The fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population are people between the ages of 25 – 50 . This surge in oral cancer is from an oncogenic virus, known as HPV16. This is a virus that does not hurt. Evidence (from the oral cancer foundation) indicates that this is a virus that can be sexually transmitted between partners. Oral cancer is on the rise for the 5th year in a row, yet the majority of the U.S . population has never even heard of this deadly disease! Unfortunately, at this time, only about 15% of dental professionals are actually screening their patients for oral cancer ( quoted from the oral cancer foundation).
If an area in you mouth is suspected of being oral cancer, a biopsy will often be recommended. Most lesions, like the one shown here, are benign or non-cancerous, but oral cancer can often look like other more common mouth lesions, so a biopsy is best. You should contact our office if you have any sore or lesion in your mouth that appears to be changing or spreading, or any sore that does not heal within two weeks. The absense of pain does not mean that the lesion is not cancer!
Dr. Julie Gillis D.D.S. is joining the fight against oral cancer by taking important preventative measures, by completing an oral cancer screening at each of your routine exams, following or during your dental cleaning.