The Oral Cancer Foundation says that approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer for the first time in 2016. This means that every day, about 132 new people will find themselves faced with this potentially life-altering diagnosis. One person every hour will lose their battle with this disease.
Major risk factors to contracting the disease include smoking/tobacco use, but that’s not the only risk factor. Today’s young population faces exposure to the HPV virus. This means that a quickly growing number of young, non-tobacco users will also find themselves faced with this disease’s life-altering effect. This healthy, young demographic is one of the fastest-growing segments of new oral cancer patients. Since so many youths are now at increased risk from the disease it is important to spread the word. Raising oral cancer awareness has the potential to save lives. April’s National Oral Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time to start thinking about getting your family screened!
No matter what age category or risk demographic you may fall into, your family screened is a good idea because it can help you maintain good oral health while giving you peace of mind. Being aware and educated about the risks of certain behaviors (and having a knowledge of family medical histories) can also benefit you by helping you to to have a better grasp of your family’s overall wellness.
During April’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month, please take a moment to consider the last time you were screened and – if it’s been a while – we encourage you to schedule with your dental professional. Join the movement for better oral health, “Watch Your Mouth” and get screened today!