POWERED BY THE DENTISTRY NETWORK

Celebrities and the link with oral cancer

By Iman Sadri, DDS

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys lost his battle to cancer last week. Where did his cancer start? In his parotid gland. It's a gland located below the earlobe, and is one of three major salivary glands in the head and neck. Although, it is an extremely rare cancer, and it mostly affects patients 55 and older, it is still prevalent among a large populous. Michael Douglas, another high profile patient, has been undergoing treatment, in recent months, for oral cancer, which started at the base of his tongue.

Despite the fact that more media attention spotlights oral cancer when celebrity patients are its victims, the number of Americans dealing with oral cancer are staggering. According to Velscope.com, approximately 36,540 Americans were estimated to be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx in 2010. During the same time period 7,880 Americans were estimated to succumb to it.

Salivary glad cancer along with other more common oral cancers can be prevented if diagnosed early. Aside from tobacco use and alcohol, the fastest growing risk factor for this disease is infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). However, oral cancer caused by HPV has a higher survival rate than those cancers caused by smoking or tobacco use.

So how can oral cancer be detected early? Patients should regularly visit their dentist and have him or her do a routine oral head and neck exam. In fact, that should be part of every new patient or six month recall exam. Incipient oral cancer lesions, if detected early, can be removed to stop their spread. Common areas of oral cancer lesions etiology include the tongue, the inner lip, and the roof of the mouth.

Even though heightened attention is turned to oral cancer when celebrities are affected, the stats speak loudly. One American dies every hour due to this disease. More needs to be done to stop its spread and prevent its start.

Editor's Note: Iman Sadri is a cosmetic dentist and writer based in Irvine, California.



Related Articles

Forward Science Technologies, creators of OralID, announce biopsy service

DentistryIQ Editors 06/05/2015

Forward Science Technologies LLC announces the launch of PathID, a nationwide biopsy service.

10 steps to perform an oral cancer screening by Scott Froum, DDS

10 steps to perform an oral cancer screening

05/28/2015

Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and throat account for about 45,000 cases each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,000 deaths per year. Studies show that successful treatment is highly dependent upon diagnosis and treatment of this disease in its early stages. Although there have been advances in surgical, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, five-year survival rates of patients with moderate to advanced cases of oral cancer are less than 60%. Patients who do survive typically have trouble chewing, speaking, eating, and smiling after treatment thus it is extremely important to diagnose OC before it becomes advanced, since treatment for early cancer is not as severe. Dr. Scott Froum offers steps to use as you screen patients in your office.

Aspen Dental partners with the Oral Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of oral cancer and increase funds for continued research

DentistryIQ Editors 05/13/2015

More than 4,000 ViziLite advanced oral cancer screenings were conducted at Aspen Dental practices in April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Fortune Management partners with Forward Science Technologies on latest podcast focusing on oral cancer

DentistryIQ Editors 05/08/2015

To raise awarness of oral cancer, Fortune Managment and Forward Science Technology partnered together to create a podcast and lead to more early detection of the disease.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to Dentistty IQ's Newsletters

Dental Photo of the Day

There is no current content available.
1421 S. Sheridan Road
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74112
PH: 800.331.4633