Ninety percent of people with oral cancer use tobacco in one form or another (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco or snuff). About 80% use alcohol frequently. The good news is that oral cancer is largely preventable – and if detected early, highly treatable. The best way to prevent this form of cancer is to stop use of all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
Who Should Be Screened and How Often?
All men and women over the age of 18 should be screened annually – this is usually done by your dentist as part of your regular exam. New links have been found between oral cancers and the HPV virus, so non-smokers should be screened as well.
What Are the Risk Factors?
- Twice as common in men as women
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week
The MUSC Head and Neck Tumor Center works to create awareness in our community by offering outreach and education events throughout the year. This year, April 14-20 is being recognized as Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week (OHANCAW). Schedule of MUSC events:
April 16 – 17th - School talks across Charleston County. Speaking with 6th, 7th and 8th graders about tobacco/alcohol/head and neck cancers
April 18th - Research Conference
April 19th - Free Oral Cancer Screenings, MUSC Rutledge Tower, 10th floor, 9 am – 2 pm (Dr. Betsy Davis’ clinic). Call 792-6624 to schedule an appointment.
April 19th – Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Banquet for Survivors/Families, Charleston Yacht Club, 6 pm – 9 pm.