Vigilant Biosciences is leading the way in oral cancer awareness by making the month of April, National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. It’s important and timely as the number of cases rises in North America, notably among young, otherwise healthy adults.
Read on to find out what may be causing this disturbing trend and what you can do about it.
Awareness is key
Surprisingly, the organization found in their research that more than 60% of consumers know very little or nothing about oral cancer, and while 81% of people would like to be screened for oral cancer at every dental check-up, only 29% are.
It’s important, therefore, not only to have regular dental check-ups but to let your dental professional know that it’s important to you that screening be conducted routinely.
A growing risk factor
Indications point to HPV as a growing risk factor for oral cancer. HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease, is not normally discussed by dental professionals with their patients and is therefore a risk factor that can go unmentioned.
The researchers found in fact, that 59% of adults were not aware that HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer.
Conclusion and actions
Finding oral cancer in its beginning stages is essential as most cases of oral cancer are found in the late stages result in an extremely high death rate.
Vigilant has 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.
Through patient education and consistent screening by dental professionals, oral cancer can be caught at an early stage. Ask you dental professional about their screening processes at your next visit!