Oral cancer is as common as leukemia and kills more Americans each year than either skin or cervical cancer. Patients with oral cancer have a poor prognosis, and the 5-year survival rate of approximately 50% has remained unchanged for the past 50 years. Perhaps the single most important reason for this is the fact that oral cancers continue to be diagnosed in advanced stages. Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the survival rate for oral cancer patients increases dramatically when the diagnosis is established in early stages.
Below are some links useful for those interested in oral cancer issues. Go to the bottom of the page for a handy oral cancer self exam.
- Pictures of early oral cancers
- UM Greenebaum Cancer Center - Info on Lip and Oral Cancer
- The Oral Health Education Foundation
- Oral Cancer - National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer - National organization dedicated to meeting the needs or oral and head and neck cancer patients.
- American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons - Find information about oral and maxillofacial surgery including cancer, dental implants, sports safety, jaw surgery, and more
Oral Cancer Self Exam
Any ulceration in the mouth which does not heal in two weeks should be checked by you dentist ASAP. Early oral cancer is rarely ulcerated, however, and appears more like the cancerous lesions below. Any area in your mouth that looks like these photos needs to be brought to the attention of your dentist or physician!