Oral Cancer on the Rise

New oral cancer statistics released by FAIR Health, a U.S. nonprofit organization, show a troubling trend. According to a recent Dental Tribune article, claims related to oral cancer diagnosis have risen by over 60% since 2011. Additionally, the group found that men were diagnosed with the disease three times more often than women.

FAIR Health analyzed data related to oral cancer diagnosis on privately billed medical and dental insurance claim lines from 2011 to 2015. Overall, the number of claims jumped by 61%, with the greatest increase in malignant neoplasm or the nasopharynx, hypopharynx and oropharynx. The second greatest increase was found in malignant neoplasm of the tongue.

Further analysis found that 74% of diagnosed cases of cancer of the tongue and throat were in men while 26% were found in women. However, adult males, even with a higher risk of developing oral cancer, were shown to be much less likely than adult females to seek preventive dental examinations and cleanings. That’s very concerning news.

Oral cancer claims were more frequent in people 46 years of age and older, but then declined in people over 65. According to the American Cancer Society, over 48,000 Americans will develop cancer of the oral cavity or pharynx in 2016, and about 9,500 people will die of the disease.

Treatment is most successful when the disease is caught early, making regular exams even more important. In our continuing effort to enhance patient care, Miami Dental Sedation Spa is proud to announce the inclusion of the Oral ID exam as an important part of our annual comprehensive oral screening protocol.  This exam is used after our standard visual oral cancer examination to help detect suspicious areas that lie underneath the surface of the tissues, which are not detectable with the naked eye. For more information about the exam, check out this article written by Dr. Sanchez, and be sure to schedule your screening today.

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