As epidemic spreads, the Academy of General Dentistry stresses dialogue, vaccination, and screenings
CHICAGO, April 4, 2018 – April marks oral cancer awareness month, and this year the Academy of General Dentistry is calling on dentists and patients to increase dialogue and screenings to address the growing number of oral cancer cases.
Nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year and of those diagnoses, roughly a fifth will result in death*. Oral cancer cases have increased in the past two decades, linked to the spread of oral HPV.
“Oral cancer is often called the silent killer because it silently invades the body during early stages, and patients don’t notice symptoms until it is quite advanced,” said Manuel Cordero DDS, CPH, MAGD, president, Academy of General Dentistry. “Vaccination against HPV is the first line of defense for young people, but screenings are critical for the broader population. Most people don’t realize screenings are part of their six-month dental checkups, and that needs to change.”
In a 2017 survey, the Academy of General Dentistry found that only 25 percent of Americans view their dentist as an expert on oral cancer screenings – even though screenings are part of regular checkups.
“It’s time for patients and dentists to talk more openly about oral cancer, starting with screenings, as well as preventative measures like HPV vaccination and not using tobacco,” added Dr. Cordero.
For more information on oral cancer awareness, and to schedule a dental checkup with screening, visit: www.agd.org/agd-foundation/our-programs/oral-cancer-screenings.
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**According to a study by University of Florida, Baylor College of Medicine: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/silent-epidemic-cancer-spreading-among-men-n811466