Osteoporosis (literally "porous bones") is a disease in which bones become brittle and more likely to break. In the ., approximately ten million individuals, eight million of whom are women, are estimated to already have osteoporosis, and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass (osteopenia), 3 placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Unfortunately, the prevalence of osteoporosis is growing, especially as the number of postmenopausal women in the population continues to rise. Together, osteoporosis and osteopenia are expected to affect an estimated 52 million women and men age 50 and older by 2010, and 61 million by 2020. 3 Direct medical costs of osteoporosis total nearly $18 billion in the . each year. 2
For 18 months I saw dentists, oral surgeons, family doctors, ENT’s, and emergency medicine doctors (both in the USA and the UK). They all called it ‘burning mouth syndrome’ and prescribed antibiotics, mouthwashes and anti-fungal creams. After begging for a biopsy, I got the call – it was cancer. I had surgery on my tongue but no chemo, radiation or neck dissection was needed. It was 2005. In 2010, I had pain in the same area which was dysplasia and they performed laser surgery on the same spot to ensure they got it all. In 2012, I had the same complaint of pain and a new spot. Dysplasia was diagnosed again but required no further treatment. Two months later, I complained of a spot and discomfort. They lasered it again. We need more time and attention devoted to oral cancer research. My story is not over!