Every hour of every day one American life is lost to oral cancer. What are the chances you’ll develop oral cancer within your lifetime? What will happen to your children if you suddenly go? Here are some of the biggest myths about oral cancer for parents and non-parents alike:
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Oral cancer isn’t that dangerous
While oral cancer may not be as aggressive as other types of cancers; of the 400,000 individuals diagnosed annually, only half will be spared in the next five years. Oral cancer carries a greater fatality rate than cervical and testicular cancers.
It’s easy to detect
Oral cancer is often detected during late stages of development, the sole attribution to the high rate of death. Oral cancer is 90% curable when detected early.
Only smokers get it
Just because you’ve never lit up a cigarette doesn’t make you immune to oral cancer. Individuals who drink alcohol and don’t practice a healthy lifestyle have a significantly higher chance of developing this cancer in their lifetime.
Food additives cause cancer
The additives in our food used to preserve color and flavor are not directly linked to the development of cancer. Right now medical researchers believe food additives are very unlikely to trigger the disease, despite their chemical composition.
Family history is everything
Do you have a close relative that developed oral cancer? While this pleads the case for due diligence in regular screenings, a family member diagnosed with cancer is not a death sentence. It doesn’t always determine your chances of developing the disease.
Stress causes cancer
We could all go without a little stress. Stress is considered a risk factor for many things including obesity, high blood pressure, insomnia and yet there’s still no direct link to cancer.