Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer - half of those diagnosed die from it. It is curable if detected early on but oral check-ups are notoriously overlooked.
Cancers of the mouth and throat have increased in Europe over the period 1995 to 1989. According to a 1992 European report, there were more than 2,000 new cases and 1,500 deaths attributed to oral cancer each year. Specifically, the number of women dying from cancer of the tongue was up 40% since 1965. Although oral cancer is similar in incidence to cervical cancer, most women are unaware of the disease. Overconsumption of alcohol is linked to cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, oesophagus and liver, and the effects are multiplied by smoking.
In clinical trials, about 41% of cancers were found in abnormalities that dentists did not consider cancerous. One US survey showed that only 15% of adults reported ever having had an oral exam.