March 21, 2017
When it comes to your dental health, you are probably concerned about gum disease and tooth decay. However, there is a greater threat to your oral health—oral cancer. Oral cancer is responsible for over 9,700 deaths per year. With over 49,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the United States, it is important to have an oral cancer screening with your dentist in Beaumont at each preventive appointment. With April Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Michael Olson is committed to raising awareness about the importance of regular screenings.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Oral oropharyngeal cancers are those that affect the head and neck; however, brain cancer is in a category of its own. More than 450,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed around the world each year. Unfortunately, the long-term survival rate for the cancer is low. Since there are currently no guidelines in place for regular cancer screenings, most people are not aware they need a screening. As a result, the cancer is often found once it has reached the advanced stages or spread to other areas of the body. This causes the 5-year survival rate to approximately 57%.
The early diagnosis of the cancer is vital to promoting a better outcome for those with the cancer. However, only 14% of oral cancer cases are diagnosed in the earliest stages. With the cancer often not producing any signs or symptoms during the early stages, the only way to detect cancerous and precancerous cells is with a screening from your family dentist in Beaumont.
Most often, people tend to believe only tobacco users are at risk for oral cancer. While 95% of those with oral cancer are tobacco users, anyone can be diagnosed with the condition. With the symptoms of the cancer quite diverse, you may not be able to recognize them as something to be concerned about. However, if you develop any sores, swelling, lumps or thick patches in or around the mouth, you need to schedule a screening. In addition, if lesions develop or you have difficulty moving your jaw or tongue, you need to see the dentist right away. In some cases, signs on the cancer can take the form of a lingering sore throat, feeling like something is caught in the throat, and pain in the ears.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Dr. Olson provides comprehensive oral cancer screenings at each preventive appointment. In addition to cleaning your teeth and performing a dental checkup, he uses effective and noninvasive screening tools to look for cancerous and precancerous cells. If an area that is concerning is found, a biopsy will be ordered.
With a regular screening, you better ensure the cancer is found early, even if you have no symptoms or risk factors of cancer. Considering Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we want you to remain as healthy as possible. In addition to promoting the health of your teeth and gums, we provide the screenings you need to detect the cancer early. Contact West End Dental Group today to schedule an oral cancer screening.
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