Like other cancers that we screen for, oral and oropharyngeal cancers should be screened for annually starting around the age of 18. If an individual uses tobacco products, screening for them should begin at the age they commence tobacco use. The visual and tactile screenings the foundation recommends are quick, painless, usually free or inexpensive, and non-invasive to undergo. The fact that they occur in an area of the body that lends itself relatively easy to examination, is an asset that allows a non-invasive manner to be used to detect their development early in many cases.
Front of the mouth oral cancers, usually related to tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption or a genetic predisposition in a small number of cases, often produce visible pre-cancerous tissue changes that can be seen with the naked eye. In the very rear of the mouth known as the oropharynx, cancer can occur related to tobacco, use but now more frequently it is caused by the HPV16 virus, one that is commonly a