More than 25% of oral cancer victims are under age 40 and have none of the known lifestyle risk factors like tobacco and alcohol use or diabetes. Scientists have recently learned that people can develop oral cancer after contracting the human papilloma virus (HPV). Most types of HPV are harmless- for example, skin warts which are very common. But some types, like those transmitted sexually, have been linked to oral cancer. If oral cancer is caught early, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 90%. If not, the rate drops significantly. Be proactive by pointing out to us any abnormal mouth condition you have seen or felt, even ones that seem trivial like a small canker or cold sore that hasn’t healed after about two weeks. In its earliest most-treatable stages, oral cancer usually causes no pain or discomfort. That’s why it’s really important for you to…

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