Oral Cancer – In the United States

Oral Cancer – In the United States

Mar 12, 2017

Just shy of 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of oral cancer every year. About 9,750 people will die from this type of cancer each year. This is about 1 death per hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. About 57% of oral cancer victims are alive 5 years later. Oral cancers account for 85% of all head and neck cancers reported. This number has only improved about 7% over the past decade, which is not a significant improvement compared to the exploding survival rates of other forms of cancer.

Oftentimes, professionals attribute this to the late detection of oral cancers. Oral cancers are generally not discovered early on as they only present a few if any early symptoms of there being a problem. Sometimes there may be oral lesions or infections, but people don’t understand they are related to oral cancer so they never seek treatment till the tumor metastasizes

Oral cancer is a much greater problem than the almost 50,000 cases diagnosed in the US each year. Worldwide, about 450,000 cases are diagnosed each year. These are the best available statistics from WHO which, despite its best to be professional in reporting may not always have perfectly accurate numbers based on the fact that some countries don’t fully report their statistics the way that they should be reported.

Many suggest the US develops an opportunistic screening process detecting oral cancers to see if that helps catch tumors earlier. The high death rate for oral cancers attributes to the fact that most oral cancers are not caught till they metastasize and break off into another part of the body. Generally, this is in the lymph nodes of the throat. By then the cancer has invaded deep into the structures of the mouth and throat and there is little to do to help the patient. Besides, anyone who gets oral cancer has a 20x higher chance of a reoccurrence of getting it again for 5 to 10 years after the initial diagnosis. It is estimated that $3.2 billion is spent every year alone in the US fighting oral cancers, and treating people who get it.

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The Ramona Dentistry Team

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