Oral Cancer Awareness Month Hopes to Educate Public on Risks

oral cancer screening

According to a recent survey released today from Vigilant Biosciences, in collaboration with the Oral Cancer Foundation, HNCA and SPOHNC, more than 60% of consumers know very little or nothing about oral cancer – a disease that nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with in the US every year. What’s more – while 81% of people would like to be screened for oral cancer at every dental check-up, only 29% are.

Oral cancer rates in the U.S. are growing – partially among young, healthy adults – because of oral cancer caused by HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease, and a growing risk factor for oral cancer.

Most cases of oral cancer are found in the late stages, resulting in an extremely high death rate. That’s why Vigilant teamed with industry advocates to launch an awareness campaign for National Oral Cancer Awareness Month (April) and National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week (April 2-9) to educate consumers on the risks for oral cancer and the importance of regular screening.

Some key findings:

  • Only 20% of U.S. consumers say that their dental professional spoke with them about risk factors for oral cancer at their last dental appointment
  • 59% of adults are not aware that HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer
  • Only 41 percent knew that HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer
  • Of those surveyed who have been diagnosed with HPV, only 36 percent considered themselves at risk for oral cancer
  • Less than 5 percent have discussed the relationship between HPV and oral cancer with their dental professional
  • Only 20 percent said that their dental professional spoke with them about risk factors for oral cancer at their last dental appointment
  • 77 percent want their dentist to help them learn ways to reduce their risk of oral cancer

Article taken from oral health group

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