Identafi oral cancer screening

The New Face of Oral Cancer

More people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. But surprisingly, research shows this increase is not due to the traditional risk factors of drinking, smoking and using chewing tobacco. Rather oral cancer is now being found in a younger population of men and women because due to their exposure to the HPV (Human Papilloma virus). That is why the Centers for Disease Control recommends that all patients over the age of 18 be screened annually for oral cancer.

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Oral Cancer frequently has no symptoms; however, when symptoms do occur, the most common include:

  • A sore, lump or ulcer on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
  • A lump on the lip or in the mouth A lump in the neck
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
  • Oral pain that does not go away or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty with jaw opening
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Tooth loosening
  • Bad breath
  • Sensory loss of the face
  • Abnormal taste in the mouth
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Tongue problems


When found early, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately 40% of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of these cases will be discovered as a late stage malignancy. (see stage description in Oral Cancer section)

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous, because the patient may not notice it in its early stages. It can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms. As a result, Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location.


The statistics are nothing less than alarming.

  • A person dies from oral cancer every hour.1
  • Approximately 35,310 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2009.4
  • Over 40% of those diagnosed will die within five years - National Cancer Institute.2
  • The high mortality rate associated with oral cancer is due to late stage diagnosis.1
  • This is the third year in a row in which there has been an increase in the rate of occurrence, in 2007 there was a major jump of over 11% in that single year.1
  • The incidence rate for oral cancer is 3 TIMES GREATER than cervical cancer in the US.1
  • Exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus) is the fasted growing risk factor for oral cancer.1
  • The mortality rate associated with oral cancer has not improved significantly in the last 40 years.1
  • 90% of oral cancer occurs in patients 45 years or older, which encompasses "all" 84M Baby Boomers.1
  • An estimated 7,550 oral cancer patients died in 2007 (5180 men 2370 women).4
  • Men above the age of 45 and elderly patients have the highest risk of developing oral cancer.1
  • Men of African ancestry have an especially high risk in every age group.5
  • 90% of oral cancers are "Squamous Cell Carcinomas".4