Oral cancer screenings are a regular part of dental appointments, which is why the Oral Cancer Foundation is inviting dentists to participate in Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April.
Brian Hill, OCF Executive Director and an oral cancer survivor, stressed the importance of early detection and the dentist’s role in the endeavor.
“Any delay in discovery yields a later stage disease when diagnosed, increased treatment morbidity and reduced survival rates,” he noted.
In 2010, the National Cancer Institute estimated that 36,540 people were diagnosed with oral cancer, resulting in 7,880 deaths. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed early is 75 percent compared to a 20 percent survival rate in those whose cancer has spread, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.