In recognition of National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) are joining efforts with the region’s health care organizations to reduce the incidence and mortality of oral cancer and save lives.
“Improving oral and oropharyngeal cancer awareness in our community is imperative,” said Angela Mora, DPH Director. “Oral cancer has an incidence rate of about 7.2 per 100,000 residents in El Paso and affects males twice as much as females in the U.S., but we as a community can work to reduce the incidence rate by participating in Oral Cancer Awareness Month.”
City Health Officials and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso urge all citizens to complete the HPV vaccine series and obtain regular oral examinations by an oral health professional.
The Department of Public Health Medicaid Waiver Program offers free HPV, tobacco education and vaccines for those between the ages of 9 to 26 who are uninsured or underinsured. For more information, contact (915) 212-6545.
The TTUHSC El Paso Tiempo de Vacunarte Program offers free HPV education and vaccines for persons age 9 to 45 who are uninsured or underinsured. For more information, contact (915) 694-9225 or click here to visit the Tiempo de Vacunarte webpage.
Residents can take part in Oral Cancer Awareness Month by:
- Reducing the use of tobacco products
Tobacco use and vaping significantly increases the risk of infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes oral or oropharyngeal cancer.
- Getting screened
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers occur most often in the tongue, soft and hard palate, tonsils, gums and back of the throat, which is why regular oral and dental examinations by a health professional is important.
- Getting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is known to cause approximately 70 percent of oral and oropharyngeal cancer cases, and the HPV vaccine was developed to prevent infection by the high-risk types of HPV that cause cancers such as oral and oropharyngeal cancer.
For more information on the services and health screenings provided by DPH, visit EPHealth.com under the Services Tab Education and Promotion or call 2-1-1