Oral Cancer is a Killer

About 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year, according to Dr. Steven Andreaus of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists.

Oral cancer is as common as leukemia and kills more Americans each year than either skin or cervical cancer. Patients with oral cancer have a poor prognosis, and the 5-year survival rate of approximately 50% has remained unchanged for the past 50 years. Perhaps the single most important reason for this is the fact that oral cancers continue to be diagnosed in advanced stages. Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the survival rate for oral cancer patients increases dramatically when the diagnosis is established in early stages.

Some studies report that only half of patients with oral cancer have a five-year survival rate. That’s quite depressing and it keeps us alert in our practice.