Oral cancer is no longer a “smoker’s cancer.” The highest rate of new oral cancer cases is in 25-60 year old healthy NONSMOKERS. And, oral cancer is one of the only cancers still on the rise. The reason? Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer also causes oral and pharyngeal cancer.
At Intown Smile Studio, we use simple saliva tests to check for HPV and “flashlight” oral cancer screening technology. We can measure your risk factors, and we can screen for cancer in its very early stages. In doing so, our patients have the opportunity for more simple treatment procedures and a better survival outlook. Dr. Estep recommends all patients over 25 be saliva-tested for HPV, and she encourages all of her patients have a “flashlight” oral cancer screening once every year (more frequently for patients with risk factors).
Another link to oral cancer is chronic periodontitis (gum disease). Research reveals that a patient who has untreated gum disease increases risk for tongue cancer (39).