I. While we are in class today, 6 people will die from oral cancer. Three out of the four are men between the ages of 25 and 55. Before being diagnosed, these individuals probable ate a good diet and exercised regularly. Most did not use tobacco products and seldom drank alcohol.
II. Oral cancers have been on the rise over the last decade with the amount of cases doubling in the United States alone. It has catapulted oral cancer from 11th on the overall number of cancer cases to number 5. Smoking and drinking have always been the primary causative agents in oral cancers.
III. You may be thinking to yourselves, I don’t drink or smoke so why does this matter to me? That was my thought when my uncle was diagnosed with oral cancer in the end of 2008. Two months later when my step dad was diagnosed, I looked into oral cancer a little bit more but figured he was a truck driver before he met my mom, he probably lived a hard life. It was a real hard time for my mom and I felt sorry for her having to go through what she did with him while he was getting treated. I went to visit him the day after his last radiation treatment and cried when I saw how much the treatment had taken from him. The doctors had told them in the beginning that they were going to take a seemingly healthy man to the very brink of death where they would hold him for about 12-14 days and then slowly bring him back and they weren’t kidding. The week following my visit, my husband was diagnosed with the same cancer and I became an oral cancer advocate. Good thing I did because I have had 2 uncles, a brother in law, and two close friends that have suffered the same fate.
IV. There is a pandemic in regards to the number of new cases of oral cancer occurring annually. The number of smokers has decreased dramatically over the last 10 years but the number of cases of oral cancer diagnosed annually has gone from 300,000 cases to 650,000 cases...