Did you know that there are about 50,000 people diagnosed oral cancer each month in the US?
Celebrities Sammy Davis Jr, Rod Stewart, Roger Ebert, Burl Ives, Eddie Van Halen, and George Harrison have all suffered from oral cancer. Former Presidents Grover Cleveland and Ulysses S. Grant also had oral cancer, as have former NFL quarterbacks Jim Thorpe and Jim Kelly.
Oral and pharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, only about 60% will live longer than 5 years. Many who do survive suffer long-term problems such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking. The death rate associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers remains particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are unique within dentistry in their ability to diagnose and treat these conditions. Here are some oral cancer facts: