Top 5 Key Predictions About Oral Cancer
May 31, 2017
Matthew H.J. Kim, founder, chairman and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences, shares five key predictions about oral cancer.
- Oral cancer diagnoses will continue to grow: Statistics show that in the United States, more than 48,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year with more than 9,500 deaths resulting from this disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours per day. These rates are expected to grow as cases of HPV-related cancer increase, and behaviors such as vaping grow in popularity among the younger population.
- More young people will be diagnosed with oral cancer as a result of HPV: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, which can lead to other serious health issues, including oral cancer. It has been found that 65 percent of consumers do not know that HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer. Although oral cancer has traditionally been thought of as a cancer for older adults, young people are developing it at alarming rates. Currently, up to 70 percent of new oral cancers diagnosed in the throat are related to HPV.
- New, innovative tools will help to diagnose earlier, cut mortality rates: New, promising technologies are making it easy for dental and medical professionals to detect oral cancer earlier and intervene before it is too late. This also means aiding clinicians to confidently rule out the disease so as to minimize unnecessary worry or treatments when concerning symptoms might present. Among these new, innovative tests are the OncAlert Oral Cancer rapid point-of-care test strip test and the OraMark laboratory test, both of which are built on technology that measures biomarkers captured in an oral rinse and have been clinically validated to be associated specifically with mouth and throat cancer, to aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer by assisting in clinical decision making.
- More dentists will test for oral cancer, as more new easy-to-use tools become available: As new simple, rapid tools become available, dental clinicians are likely to both increase and improve upon their oral wellness checks, which include oral cancer screening of their patients during an annual exam. Tests that are non-invasive for patients and easy for dental professionals to integrate into the standard practice of care will become more widely used.
- Growth in awareness will lead to more people getting screened: A recent consumer survey conducted by Vigilant Biosciences, Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and SPOHNC revealed that only 37 percent of consumers say they have been screened for oral cancer at their last dental check-up; however, more than 83 percent indicated that they would like to be screened for oral cancer at every checkup. As awareness of oral cancer continues to grow, an increase in screening will follow.