March 3, 2016
Any type of cancer screening involves looking for cancer before any symptoms are present. With oral cancer screening, this examination is particularly important for two reasons. First, oral and throat cancers are highly treatable and curable when then are caught early. And second, because the five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with an oral or pharyngeal cancer is only slightly higher than 64 percent, early detection is critical.
At Enclave Dental, Dr. Thomas and her team are committed to not only your oral health, but your general health, too. That’s why your Southlake dentist conducts oral cancer screenings at each dental checkup.
Oral Cancer by the Numbers
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 48,250 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. During the course of a year, more than 9,575 people die of oral cancer; that’s about one person every hour of every day. And just think—of all those newly diagnosed cases, only about 64 percent will be alive in five years.
What Can My Southlake Dentist do about Oral Cancer?
Dr. Thomas and the staff at Enclave Dental will check for signs of oral cancer at each one of your dental cleaning and exam appointments. These signs include:
- A sore in your mouth, on your tongue, inside your cheeks or on your lips that will not heal
- A red or white patch
- A lump or thickening inside or on top of any oral tissue
- A spot in your mouth or on your lips that feels tender or numb
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Ear pain with no sign of infection
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Any oral or throat cancer is located in close proximity to lymph nodes in your neck. Therefore, without early detection, the cancer can spread to other bodily systems. Your oral cancer screening is all the more important for this reason.
Oral Cancer Risks
Research has shown that more men develop oral cancers than women. And men who smoke or chew tobacco are at an even higher risk of developing the disease. Add alcohol consumption to tobacco and the risk is greater still.
Call Our Office Today
Your best bet to avoid oral cancer is don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol to excess. And, of course, see your dentist in Southlake for regular checkups that include an oral cancer screening.
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