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Oral Cancer Screening in Atlanta

Do you know Oral Cancer Stats?

  • woman smiling holding mouth41,000 people in the US diagnosed yearly
  • Approximately 12,000 deaths per year
  • 66% will be diagnosed at late stage three and four of the disease
  • Past risk: Tobacco, alcohol, and over 40 years of age
  • Today: Face of oral cancer is changing: fastest growing population in younger 18-40
  • HPV is a known risk factor and independent causative factor for oral cancer

Source: www.oralcancerfoundation.org and www.cdc.gov

How can HPV affect my mouth?

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) includes 130 unique types of double-stranded circular DNA viruses capable of producing epithelial tumors of the skin and mucous membrane.
  • HPV-16 and HPV-18 are high risk strains which are responsible for 70% of cervical carcinomas.
  • The molecular evidence for HPV-16 in Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is as strong as it is for cervical cancer. HPV -16 and 18, accounts for 92% of HPV positive OPSCC.
  • In the U.S., OPSCC due to HPV has climbed to 50%
  • Clinical studies show that HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinomaare are seen more likely in:
    • Higher socio-economic environment
    • Age: 40-59
    • 3:1 Male/Female
    • Risk factor: sexual behavior
    • Seen mostly on palatine tonsils and base of tongue (Early signs are not clinically evident)

Everyone needs an Oral Cancer Screening!

We perform an Oral Cancer Screening at every one of your cleaning appointments. If we see anything that is not within normal limits we will either decide to biopsy the area or will document it with radiographs and digital photographs in order to observe the area until it has cleared or been removed. Oral cancer is commonly seen on the lateral posterior borders and the dorsal side of the tongue. Both areas are very difficult for you to check on your own and are not areas that are seen when just looking into your mouth.