Many people think that they don’t need to worry about oral cancer as long as they don’t smoke. While it’s true that tobacco use is a big risk factor, you don’t have to smoke or chew tobacco to get oral cancer. It’s important to participate in regular oral cancer screenings because there could be other factors influencing your odds, whether you’re aware of them or not. For example, more and more cases of oral cancer recently have been linked to HPV.
What is HPV?
HPV is a blanket term that includes more than 100 virus types that can live in the flat, thin cells in various parts of your body. The virus is typically exchanged through contact with infected bodily fluids. In recent years, over seventy-percent of oral cancer-related tumors have been linked to HPV.
Did You Know…
- Men are about four times more likely than women to contract oral cancer
- Over thirteen thousand HPV-related oral cancers are diagnosed in U.S. men each year
- Over half of the male patients who are diagnosed with late-stage oral cancer die within five years
- An oral cancer screening can detect oral cancer in an earlier stage and give patients who’ve contracted oral cancer a better chance
- There’s a vaccination that can help prevent HPV
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with HPV, or you haven’t had an oral cancer screening recently, scheduling a regular oral cancer screening can help protect your oral health and overall well-being. Dr. Rosenfeld believes in staying up-to-date on the latest research so that he can better understand oral cancer and what conditions could make his patients more susceptible.
Patients who have not contracted HPV may be interested to know there’s a shot that can protect them or protect their children. By understanding these links and making sure to participate in an annual exam, we can better protect ourselves from oral cancer.