Hannibal Regional Medical Group observes Oral Cancer Awareness Month by offering free oral cancer screenings at its area clinics.

Statistics show that 43,000 Americans were diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer last year, and it is estimated that these cancers will claim about 8,000 lives this year.

Like many cancers, the earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance of survival.

Thomas Northcut

Traditionally, tobacco and alcohol users are considered to be at the greatest risk for oral cancer. However, cases are on the rise in younger adults who don't smoke. Research indicates this is due in part to the increase of the human papillomavirus (HPV).

HRMG offers free oral cancer screenings April 10 at its Shelbina and Monroe City clinics, and April 17 in Hannibal and Canton.

Dr. Kevin Lollar was a recent guest on KHMO's Talk Back: