Oral Cancer Awareness Month - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's Oral Cancer Awareness Month.... so cancer centers and dental offices across the country are educating people about the importance of screenings.

Dr. David Gundersen, with First Choice Dental, said about 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. He says the two largest culprits of oral cancer are smoking and drinking.

"One that's on the rise is Human Papillomavirus," Dr. Gundersen said. "We're seeing an increase in the rate of oral cancer among people younger than 40 because of HPV."

Dr. Gundersen said dentists should be screening their patients because it can help detect any suspicious changes in oral health at an early stage when it is more easily treated.

"It's an obligation, and I think if you're not getting screened in your dental office you should definitely get screened, and ask about it," Dr. Gundersen said.

First Choice Dental offers free oral cancer screenings all year. To schedule a free screening, contact a location near you. Click here for a list of office locations.

Dr. Gundersen joined us on 27 News at 5 on Monday.

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