Oral Cancer Awareness Month, April 2017

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What to look for:

This list considers both oral cancers from HPV and those from tobacco and alcohol

  • An ulcer or sore that does not heal within 2-3 weeks

  • A red, white, or black discoloration on the soft tissues in the mouth

  • Difficult or painful swallowing. A sensation that things are sticking in the throat when swallowing

  • A swollen but painless tonsil. When looking in the mouth, tonsils on both sides should be symmetrical in size

  • Pain when chewing

  • A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice

  • A swelling or lump in the mouth

  • A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.

  • A numb feeling in the mouth or lips

  • Constant coughing

  • An earache on one side (unilateral) which persists for more than a few days.


Week 4: April 24-28



Image or Video

There’s no cure for #HPV. Most of the time, it goes away by itself within 2 years. It’s only when HPV stays in the body for many years that it might cause oral cancers. Only a small # of people will have an HPV infection cascade all the way into oralpharyngeal cancer, but that number is increasing almost 10% annually.

A small # of people will have an #HPV infection cascade all the way into #oralcancer, but that number is increasing almost 10% annually.

The Oral Cancer Foundation has advocated at the CDC for vaccination of girls AND boys, to more quickly reach the point of "herd immunity" in our country and protect future generations from HPV-caused cancers.

#Vaxfacts #shotofprevention #Oralcancerawareness

#HPV herd immunity can protect today and tomorrows generations from HPV-associated cancer #oralcancerawareness #shotofprevention

*Messages have been adapted from CDC and The Oral Cancer Foundation resources. Statistics for North Dakota Oral Cancer rates are updated annually by the North Dakota State Cancer Registry.

Other Oral Cancer and HPV Information Resources:

  • Oral cancer and HPV associated head and neck cancer data supported by The Oral Cancer Foundation: http://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/hpv/hpv-oral-cancer-facts/

  • North Dakota’s HPV Vaccine landing page with current statistics, resources, and information for parents: http://www.gethpvvaccine.com/

  • From American Cancer Society & National HPV Vaccination Roundtable: This Clearinghouse pools together resources such as patient education tools, provider education tools, and statistics & vaccination information from multiple national partners including ACS, CDC, AHEC, and AAP.  HPV Vaccination Resource Clearinghouse

  • HPV prevention and infection resources and materials available: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/index.html

  • HPV Vaccine manufacturer: https://www.gardasil9.com/about-gardasil9

This toolkit was developed by the North Dakota Cancer Coalition HPV Taskforce, established in 2012. Our mission is to improve awareness of HPV infection and the availability of HPV 9 Guardasil vaccine for cancer prevention. The HPV Taskforce is comprised of leaders and stakeholders in HPV prevention across North Dakota, including oral health professionals, local public health, North Dakota Department of Health, Merck & Co., physicians, nurses, and quality improvement professionals from major North Dakota health systems.

If you are interested in more information about the HPV Taskforce, North Dakota Cancer Coalition, or how you can get involved please contact Janna Pastir at jlpastir@nd.gov or ndcc@nd.gov

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