Rotarian Ben had a split format this evening as he covered the topics of hunger and oral cancer.
Ben discussed how he had found the Hunger Awareness Day to be a fun event to participate in. Based on what he discovered, he decided instead to quiz us all on how much information we had on Canada’s food banks and how many citizens utilize their services each year.
The numbers are staggering...
-Just under 900,000 Canadians turn to food banks each month. 93,000 are using them for the first time. There are currently only 800 food banks in Canada. A total of 14 MILLION people per year use a food bank. Basically, the equivalent of the entire population of Ontario! This information certainly gave cause for reflection.
Ben continued on with the second part of his program and spoke about Oral Cancer, the third deadliest cancer. Close to 43,250 people are killed in the U.S. each year. Average of 1 person per hour per day! Often oral cancer is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intra oral area. Besides the metastasis, at these later stages, the primary tumor has had time to invade deep into local structures.
Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors. This means that patients who survive a first encounter with the disease, have up to a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer. This heightened risk factor can last for 5 to 10 years after the first occurrence.
Ben recommended that at your regular Dentist appointments you ask for a thorough exam of your mouth because early detection is the key to successful treatment and a longer life span.