A Person Dies from Oral Cancer Every Hour

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month! Clarendon Dental Arts takes Oral Cancer seriously (please read through to the alarming statistics and risk factors below).

We perform oral cancer exams at least once a year during hygiene maintenance visits. In addition to the oral exam, we perform a test using our  VELscope ®Vx.

Traditional oral mucosal examination tools rely on reflected light to visualize the oral cavity. VELscope® Vx uses tissue fluorescence rather than reflectance. Tissue fluorescence visualization, in most cases, enables us to see the effects of  cellular, structural, and/or metabolic activity changes in oral mucosal tissues by observing the fluorescence response of oral tissues in response to light excitation

Supporting Our Community.

During April we will donate all proceeds from Velscope to the 3rd Annual Oral Cancer Foundation 5k Walk/Run in memory of Peter McGee Hoffman. The 5K is on April 22. Details here if you would like to sponsor or participate in the race.

Why is Oral Cancer Awareness Critical?

Peter McGee Hoffman was a healthy, active 23-year-old when diagnosed with tongue cancer in August 2008. He died just 7 short months later at the age of 24. 

Alarming Statistics

  • A person dies from oral cancer every hour.
  • Approximately 35,310 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2009.
  • Over 40% of those diagnosed will die within five years – National Cancer Institute.
  • The high mortality rate associated with oral cancer is due to late stage diagnosis.
  • This is the third year in a row in which there has been an increase in the rate of occurrence, in 2007 there was a major jump of over 11% in that single year.
  • The incidence rate for oral cancer is 3 TIMES GREATER than cervical cancer in the US.
  • Exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus) is the fasted growing risk factor for oral cancer.
  • The mortality rate associated with oral cancer has not improved significantly in the last 40 years.
  • 90% of oral cancer occurs in patients 45 years or older, which encompasses “all” 84M Baby Boomers.
  • An estimated 7,550 oral cancer patients died in 2007 (5180 men 2370 women).
  • Men above the age of 45 and elderly patients have the highest risk of developing oral cancer.
  • Men of African ancestry have an especially high risk in every age group.
  • 90% of oral cancers are “Squamous Cell Carcinomas”.

Risk Factors in North America

1) Tobacco & Alcohol
The most recognized and acknowledged is the use of tobacco (including smokeless and “VAPE” products) and alcohol.

2) Sexually Transmitted HPV-16 and 18
Exposure to the HPV-16 + 18 virus (human papilloma virus) is the fastest growing risk factor for oral cancer. This is the same virus that is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The virus presents a 5 fold increase in incidence under the age of 40, which means all patients over the age of 17 should be screened annually.

If you have not had an oral cancer exam in the last year, PLEASE schedule your appointment this month. 703 525 5901

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