Oral cancer was thought to mainly affect older men with a lifetime of tobacco use. We now know more information about oral cancer. It is true that oral cancer is twice as common in men as in women. But, lifestyle choice play a HUGE role. We have noticed a surprising rise in cases of oral cancer in younger people. This is what you need to know:
Why should young people get screened?
Since oral cancer is generally more common in older people, younger people are typically not screened as frequently. However, mouth cancer is becoming more and more common at younger ages. Early detection can significantly increase your chances of successful treatment. A screening only takes a few minutes and there is no reason not to have it done at your semi annual dental exam. Our Doctors check every patient for this at every periodic exam. A periodic exam is the one that is done by our Doctors at your dental cleaning appointment.
Why is Oral Cancer becoming more common in young people?
Researchers have found that since 1984, there has been a positive correlation between the increase of the Human Papillomavirus ( HPV) and oral cancer. This has resulted in 33,000 new cases of cancer found in parts of the body where HPV is found too. HPV can also cause other types of cancer, most commonly cervical cancer in women. Seeing your medical Doctor annually is important too. If you have been diagnosed with HPV, not only does your Medical Doctor need to know, but your Dentist needs to know too.It is imperative that you communicate this information with your Dentist so he can pay extra attention to this.
What can you do?
In addition to getting screened every year, it is recommended that you discuss with your Medical Doctor the HPV vaccines that are out there. Women over 30 should consider getting an HPV test done. This can be done at your annual physical with your Medical Doctor.
Finally, if you want to have an oral cancer screening done, please call our office at 920-733-2445. Our Doctors can take care of you. If you are a patient of record, you already are being screened at your examinations.