April 9, 2019
This month, between doing your taxes and welcoming those first days of spring, we know you are probably not thinking much about oral cancer. Most people don’t — which is part of the reason why this is one of the deadliest cancers today. During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it’s time to talk about this disease, and how getting regular screenings could potentially save your life. Below, you can find out more about oral cancer from your dentist in Ridgefield and how you can protect yourself and those you love.
Oral Cancer: The Stats
Oral cancer is that which affects hard and/or soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, or other structures surrounding the oral cavity. Early detection and prompt intervention are key to successfully treating oral cancer.
The facts about oral cancer are startling.
- One person dies from oral cancer per hour every day of the year in the United States
- Approximately 40,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in 2019
- Men are more likely to have oral cancer than women
- The 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is 60%
- With the spread of HPV-16 (human papillomavirus) more young and healthy people are being diagnosed with oral cancer
Early Detection Is Vital
Because oral cancer spreads quickly, early detection is very important. The faster oral cancer is detected, the sooner intervention can be applied — and the greater the chances of successful treatment.
Your dentist can provide an oral cancer screening at the end of a regular checkup and cleaning. During this exam, they will ask you a series of simple questions about your health and then use their eyesight and a gentle touch to check for irregularities which could signal the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells. A lump, bump, red spot, asymmetry in the face, or other irregularity can all indicate oral cancer.
If anything out of the ordinary is found during the screening, your dentist will provide you with advice to get the follow-up care you need. In some instances, that may mean a biopsy right away — in others, a follow-up visit to the dentist may be scheduled in a few weeks to check in on the area.
Talk about Oral Cancer
This month, talk to your friends and loved ones about the need for routine oral cancer screenings. Remind them that it’s not just older smokers who are affected by this disease — more young and otherwise healthy people are being diagnosed every year.
If it has been awhile since your last oral cancer screening, now is a great time to schedule one with your dentist. Doing so could save your life!
Meet the Dentist
With nearly 30 years of experience in the field, Dr. Dana C. Jones knows the importance of prevention for good oral health — especially as it relates to early intervention for oral cancer. To learn more or to schedule a screening with the “dentist near me” you’re searching for, give Ridgefield Perfect Smile Center a call at (203) 438-8919.
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