In 2021, the American Cancer Society estimates the prevalence of oral cancers (oral cavity pharynx) to be about 54,010 cases and 10,850 deaths for the year. The primary cause is HPV, followed by smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, so a significant portion of the pain and suffering of these oral cancers are preventable. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30-50% of all cancers are preventable by doing things like:
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Limiting processed meats in your diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Protecting yourself from the sun
- Vaccinating yourself against HPV
- Practicing safe sex
- Not sharing needles
- Performing regular oral self-exams
- Visiting with your doctor, dentist, and dental hygienist regularly for checkups
- And practicing good oral hygiene
If you notice an unusual sore or lump anywhere in your mouth, don't wait for your next appointment. Visit your dental professional as soon as possible.
Thanks to oral pathologists' expertise and continual advancements in the field, more is being discovered about diseases that affect the mouth all the time. Many conditions are being diagnosed and treated faster and better than ever before. If you're experiencing any oral conditions that concern you, visit your dental professional. If you have a disease, oral pathology will help you get your oral health back to a condition you can smile about.