Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5%.
Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%.
The Deadly Statistics
- Every hour of every day one American dies of oral cancer.
- The mortality rate associated with oral cancer has not improved significantly in the last 40 years.
- The death rate in the United States for oral cancer is higher than that of cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, or cancer of the brain, liver, testes, kidney, or ovary.
- More than 30,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year. Only 57% will still be alive within five years.
- 25% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or alcohol and have no other lifestyle risk factors.