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While smoking and drinking alcohol have historically been the largest risk factors for oral cancers, HPV, the sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, has become the leading cause of oropharyngeal (throat) cancers.
The key to a high survival rate is to have an early diagnosis. Most sores that are caused by trauma, etc. will heal within two weeks.
Because of HPV, healthy, non-smokers in the 25-50 age range are the fastest growing segment.
That makes for around 130 new cases diagnosed per day and a death every hour of every day.
Survival rates have basically been unchanged for decades, not because it is difficult to discover or diagnose, but because it often does not produce pain or symptoms. Many times it is not diagnosed until it has spread to the lymph nodes making prognosis significantly worse.
We are thrilled that you took the time to learn more about oral cancers! The best way to increase detection and survival is to increase knowledge. Please read through our additional blog posts in order to learn more. We welcome you to schedule a visit for a thorough exam that will include an oral cancer exam!