Each year in the U.S. alone, approximately 43,250 individuals are newly diagnosed with oral cancer. Unfortunately at this time the majority are found as late‐stage disease. This accounts for the very high death rate; about half those diagnosed will not survive more then five years. The good news is that a doctor or hygienist can see or feel the precancerous tissue changes which might lead to a cancer. The examination will only take 3 to 7 minutes of your time. Historically associated with tobacco, studies now show that HPV 16, a sexually transmitted virus, is the fastest growing cause of oral cancers in the U.S. Oral cancer patients are increasingly young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Everyone over the age of 18 should be screened annually. The visual and tactile exam is inexpensive, painless and quick.