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Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April, 2013


Oral Cancer Facts

-Expected to have approximately 42,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed in 2013 alone.

Oral Cancer Marielaina Perrone DDS

VELscope Saves Lives From Oral Cancer

-Males account for almost 70% of all new cases.

Survival Rates of Oral Cancer

1 year – 89% survival

5 year – 56% survival

10 year – 41% survival

-Approximtely 8,000 deaths per year from oral cancer.

Age 0-44 – 9%

Age 45-54 – 20%

Age 55-64 – 29%

Age 65-74 – 21%

Over Age 75 – 21%

Oral Cancer Marielaina Perrone DDS

Keep The Whole Family Healthy With Regular Oral Cancer Screenings

Risk Factors of Oral Cancer

-Family History of Cancer

-Presence of HPV-16 Virus

Smoking Tobacco – Increases risk by a factor of 6.

-Alcohol Consumption – Increases risk by a factor of 6.

Chewing Tobacco – Increases risk by a factor of 50!

-25% of all new oral cancer cases are patients who never smoke and only drink on occasion (or never). This is where the biggest growth of new oral cancer cases is occurring.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

-White or red patches.

-Long term earache that never seems to go away.


-Tooth Loss

-Sores in mouth that never heal.

-Lumps in head and neck area.

-Numbness of jaw or surrounding tissues.

-Pain upon swallowing.

Early Diagnosis Is The Key To Beating Oral Cancer

The earlier the cancer diagnosis is made and the quicker treatment is begun, the better chance for a successful long term prognosis from oral cancer. Oral cancer will spread very quickly and needs to be found early in its localized state before it progresses to other parts of the head and neck as well as the rest of the body.

The tool of choice in early diagnosis of oral cancer by many dentists is the VELscope. The Velscope uses a special light that can distinguish normal healthy tissue from precancerous and cancerous tissues. The VELscope examination takes about 1-2 minutes (and is non invasive!) and has literally saved thousands of lives. There are currently about 10,000-12,000 VELscopes in the United States alone. Make sure your dentist has a VELscope to ensure you are getting proper dental care for the possibility of oral cancer development.

Oral Cancer Marielaina Perrone DDS

Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry. Coffee is a morning staple in most households. Some cannot imagine starting a day without it. New research shows that those whoOral Cancer Marielaina Perrone DDS drink 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day reduce their risk for oral cancer by nearly half from those who do not drink coffee! This could potentially be a very significant finding as oral cancers are quite common and quite deadly.

Coffee And Oral Cancer Research Link

The research team found evidence that coffee intake and oral cancer risks are closely associated. In the study, they observed that participants who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had an almost 50% reduced risk of death from oral cancer compared with those who never or only on occasion drank coffee.

Previous studies have suggested that coffee drinking is associated with lower risk of certain cancers, not necessarily oral cancer. Researchers from the American Cancer Society decided to see if coffee consumption had any effect on oral cancer. They investigated the effects of some of our favorite morning drinks including tea, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee. The research concluded that caffeinated coffee significantly lowered the risk of these types of cancers. The findings also suggested that the drink also prevented the growth and progression of the oral cancer.

The study followed almost 1 million participants over a 26 year period. All were cancer free at the start of the study. 868 participants died from oral cancer over that time span. Those participants who had more than 4 cups of  caffeinated coffee per day had an almost 50% reduced risk of death from oral cancer. There was a slight marginal effect from consuming decaffeinated coffee and zero effect found in tea drinkers.

Most head and neck cancers are linked to alcohol consumption and to smoking tobacco. Interestingly, the protective effect of coffee was not reduced in drinkers and smokers. Nor, was the effect boosted by consumption of fruits and vegetables, also shown to protect against head and neck cancers.

What Is Causing This?

It is believed that coffee contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biological active compounds (cafestol and kahweol, have anti-cancer properties) that may help to protect and slow the progression of cancers. It is important to note more research will be needed, but an association seems to be present. This could bode well into the future for development of new treatments to ward off not only oral cancer but other cancers as well.