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Oral Cancer – No Longer “an old-person’s disease”

March 7, 2015

It is imperative that dentists adopt to what is known as two distinct, separate causes of oral cancer. Tobacco / alcohol use which is traditionally identified as a leading risk factor for the development of oral cancer and the infection of HPV-16 which is rising rapidly especially in the younger ages that are non-smokers between the ages of 25-50. Oral cancer is on the rise in all age groups regardless of tobacco and alcohol decline due to the spread of the spread of a particular strain of human papilloma virus, HPV-16. In fact, “HPV may contribute to the development of approximately 20% to 30% of all oral cancer case” worldwide and 40 to 80% of all oral cancer case in the US. Because there are two distinct causes for oral cancer, and therefore are two different important protocol for detecting them. For example, recent data tells us the HPV related oral cancer is more elusive than the tobacco / alcohol related cancer. Unlike tobacco and alcohol which occur mostly in the anterior floor of the mouth and the lateral borders

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