Are you at risk?
With a death rate higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkins disease, brain, liver, and skin cancer, oral cancer is considered among the most deadly. Of more than 50,000 new patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States each year, only half will survive more than five years.
A Silent, Spreading, Epidemic
Standard of Care
Oral cancer screening typically occurs at the dentist’s office, when the hygienist or the dentist moves tongue & a visual inspection is performed for something that begins on a molecular level. This cancer is difficult to diagnose in this manner because many cases begin as small lesions buried deep within the base of the tongue and tonsillar crypts.
Paradigm Shift to HPV
While the rates of other head & neck cancers have steadily decreased, HPV now causes over 70% of oral cancer cases. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world, with 79 million Americans currently infected. It often goes away by itself, but when it persists it can cause 6 different cancers. HPV-oral cancer is one of those cancers.
As a result, most oral cancer cases are diagnosed late, only when a patient can feel a palpable node in the side of their neck. There is a critical need for earlier detection, more standardization and consistency in screening methods– and there needs to be a test with more actionable information for the clinician.
The rate of HPV-oral cancer has increased a staggering 225% over the past 30 years and is now the 6th most common cancer worldwide. The rate of oral cancer caused by HPV now exceeds cervical cancer, and yet, as of today, there is no FDA cleared screening test for oral cancer like we have for cervical cancer- a disease caused by the exact same virus
What puts us at risk for HPV oral cancer?
Tobacco, heavy alcohol use and HPV- especially HPV 16.
When to see your doctor? Sores & Pain.
If you have sores in your mouth that do not heal in 2-3 weeks or if you have pain or difficulty swallowing, chewing, or pain in your ears