Oral Cancer Awareness Survey Reveals Majority of U.S. Adults Want to Be Screened for Oral Cancer

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Oral Cancer Awareness Survey Reveals Majority of U.S. Adults Want to Be Screened for Oral Cancer
Posted: April 4, 2017
Edited by Dentaltown staff

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—According to a recently released national survey, the majority (62 percent) of adults in the U.S. know very little, or nothing at all, about oral cancer (including cancer of the oral cavity, tongue, larynx and pharynx), and only 29 percent report being screened for oral cancer at their last dental checkup.

The survey was conducted by Vigilant Biosciences, a developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, in collaboration with the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Oral Cancer Foundation and Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC).

The online survey polled more than 500 U.S. adults, ages 18-75, on their knowledge and perceptions of oral cancer and oral cancer screening. The findings were released in support of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which occurs in April, and Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, which occurs April 2–9 this year. The survey found that more than 77 percent of U.S. adults want to learn more about how to reduce their risk for oral cancer, and are interested in simple screening tools that test for early indicators of oral cancer.

The survey also revealed how little U.S. adults know about the various risk factors for oral cancer, particularly the connection between oral cancer and oral human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease. While the CDC reports that up to 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers may be associated with HPV, the survey found that 59 percent of adults are not aware that HPV is a risk factor for oral cancer. 

An executive summary of the survey and an infographic can be found at vigilantbiosciences.com.

"Our survey this year found that there is still much work to be done around increasing awareness of oral cancer and oral cancer risk, particularly around the various risk factors for oral cancer," said Matthew H.J. Kim, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. "Working together with medical and dental health professionals, as well as industry advocacy groups, we can reduce the number of late stage diagnoses by educating consumers at-risk and developing simple, accurate and cost-effective tools that can help detect oral cancer in its early stages, before it is too late."
 
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