52 Weeks to Health: Week 18, Oral Cancer

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Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer Foundation states 145 Americans will be newly diagnosed per day with oral cancer.  Close to 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour. Most oral and oropharyngeal cancers are attributed to tobacco use, alcohol use, or HPV-16 virus exposure.

When found at early stages of development, oral cancers can have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately, at this time, the majority are found as late-stage cancers.  The death rate attributed to late-stage cancer is about 43% at five years from diagnosis. Late-stage diagnosis is primarily due to lack of public awareness and lack of oral cancer screenings by medical and dental professionals. This data is for the US only.

Here is a video that shows how to examine your mouth for early signs of mouth cancer.

It is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation, however, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.

Source: Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/smokeless/health_effects/index.htm

Source:  https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/