Close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 36,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). If you expand the definition of oral cancers to include cancer of the larynx, for which the risk factors are the same, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 50,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the US alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Statistics on worldwide occurrence

HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS AND ORAL CANCER

One of the most common virus groups in the world today affecting the skin and mucosal areas of the body, is the human papilloma virus. Over eighty different types of HPV have been identified. Different types of the human papilloma virus are known to infect different parts of the body.

The human papilloma virus is a double-stranded DNA virus that infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa. The epithelial surfaces include all areas covered by skin and/or mucosa such as the mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils, vagina, penis, and anus. Transmission of the virus occurs when these areas come into contact with a virus, allowing it to transfer between epithelial cells.

The most dangerous aspect of the human papilloma virus is its potential to cause cancer. The two most harmful human papilloma viruses are HPV 16 and HPV 18. Both of these are genital viruses which are spread through sexual contact. It is well established that HPV 16 and HPV 18 are causative factors in cervical cancer, and now these two HPV’s are also being linked to oral cancer.

This and more information can be found at http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/humanpapillomavirus.htm

TESTING FOR THIS IS AS EASY AS USING A MOUTH WASH. ASK US HOW using the ORARisk HPV test.