While many other forms of cancer dominate the headlines, oral cancer is quietly claiming more and more lives every year. Sadly, many of those people would likely have been saved if their cancers had been detected sooner. That is why we believe that oral cancer screenings are among the most important services we offer at our Allen, TX dental office.
What you need to know about oral cancer
The numbers speak for themselves:
- Approximately 100 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every day
- Approximately two percent of all cancers diagnosed in females, and three percent in males, are found in the mouth
- Someone dies of oral cancer every hour of every day, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation
- The overall average five-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is 60 percent; when diagnosed and treated early (in stage one or stage two) that number jumps to 70-90 percent
Oral cancer symptoms and risk factors
Unfortunately, the signs of mouth cancer are quite subtle. You may notice a lump or growth, a white spot, a sore that doesn’t heal, bleeding, or pain. However, these conditions have many possible explanations, and in some cases, there are few if any noticeable symptoms. In reality, if you have oral cancer, you probably won’t realize it until the advanced stages – but your dentist or hygienist can recognize very early signs of oral cancer. That is why we include cancer screening with every checkup.
Although anyone can develop mouth cancer, your risk is higher if you:
- Smoke or chew tobacco
- Experience frequent sun exposure
- Have potentially been exposed to HPV (this sexually transmitted disease is a leading cause of mouth, throat, and tongue cancer
- Previously had oral cancer
- Are immune compromised
- Have a family history of cancers
Early detection saves lives – will yours be one of them?
If you are high risk, have a suspicious spot in your mouth, or if you haven’t had an oral cancer screening recently, please give us a call. Preventive dental care can protect your smile, and possibly also your life! Contact Allen Dental Studio at (469) 293-2007 to schedule an appointment.