The CDC recommends that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer. The HPV may be to blame for the alarming increase of young adults with oropharyngeal cancer. Oral cancer kills roughly 1 person per hour, every hour, every day in the United States.
- Number of sexual partners- The greater your number of sexual partners, the more likely you are to contract a genital HPV infection; and when engaging in oral sex, this also holds true for oral infections. Having sex with a partner who has had multiple sex partners also increases your risk.
- Weakened Immune Systems- People who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk of HPV infections. Immune systems can be weakened by HIV/AIDS or by immune system-suppressing drugs used after organ transplants.
Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms:
This list considers both oral cancers from HPV and those from tobacco and alcohol
- An ulcer or sore that does not heal within 2-3 weeks
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Pain when chewing
- A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
- A swelling or lump in the mouth
- A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
- A numb feeling in the mouth or lips
- Constant coughing
- An earache on one side (unilateral) which persists for more than a few days.
The best way to screen for HPV related oral and oropharyngeal cancer today is through a visual and tactile exam given by a medical or dental professional, who will also do an oral history taking to ask about signs and symptoms that cover things that are not visible or palpable.
The Antigone Skoulas, DDS and Associates is always serious when it comes to our patients’ health. As your health partner, we have upgraded to the latest in oral screening technology by offering IDENTAFI Ò, the top aid in Early Detection of Oral Cancer.