Did you know the average American sees their dentist more often than their physician? Dental practices have become the first line of defense for catching oral cancer early.
Over 100 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every day. Even more disturbing is the reality that one person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. When discovered in later stages, oral cancer survival rates are below 50%.
We take oral cancer seriously. When caught in its earliest stages, the survival rates for oral cancer stand at about 80% to 90%.
Because oral cancer is a pathologic process, cancer signs may not be noticeable during early stages. That’s why it’s critically important to have a regular oral cancer exam performed by a dental professional.
Although symptoms may not show up early on, any noticeable abnormality in the tongue, gums, mouth, or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as soon as possible. Not all the warning signs listed below means you have oral cancer, but here are some common symptoms:
Research shows that smokers, tobacco users, and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at-risk group. The sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) has also been associated with cancers of the part of the throat at the back of the mouth.
Your oral cancer exam is a painless experience. We simply search for any potential abnormalities while carefully feeling your face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. We then thoroughly inspect the lips, gum tissue, tongue, and floor of the mouth for irregularities. When appropriate, our experienced team will perform a biopsy to be sent off for analysis.
Treatment varies depending on the type of disease that is present. Each patient’s needs are addressed on a case-by-case basis in order to achieve the best results.