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The Surprising Truths About Oral Cancer

Wednesday - September 21st, 2016
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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re doing our part to build awareness by busting some commonly-believed myths about this deadly form of cancer. Read on for the real facts.

1.) Oral cancer mainly affects older men.

FALSE. Historically, oral cancer disproportionally affected older men with a history of tobacco and alcohol consumption. But in recent years, more and more women and young people have been diagnosed.

2.) Oral cancer is less dangerous than other forms of cancer.

FALSE. While oral cancer isn’t typically aggressive, it is still very deadly. The 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed with oral cancer is only about 50%. Unfortunately, oral cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages, despite the fact that it is also one of the easiest cancers to detect. Regular screenings can catch oral cancer in its earlier stages, significantly increasing the survival rate.

3.) Food coloring and other additives cause oral cancer.

FALSE. There has been no scientific evidence to support the claim that food additives used to preserve, color, or enhance food can cause oral cancer.

4.) Only people who smoke will get oral cancer.

FALSE. While using tobacco significantly increases your risk of oral cancer, other lifestyle choice can affect it, too. Excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged sun exposure, and human papillomavirus (HPV) can all increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer.

Keep your smile safe by getting an oral cancer screening at your next dental checkup!