April Oral Cancer Awareness Month
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About Oral Cancer Awareness Month
April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. Approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 132 new people in the United States every day will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person.
While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.
What is Oral Cancer?
The term oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the pharynx (the back of the throat).
Oral and pharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, only about 60% will live longer than 5 years.
Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term problems such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking. The death rate associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers remains particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
- a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
- red or white patches
- pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth.
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