Underestimating the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings Could be Life-Threatening

Oral Cancer Screening FitzgeraldAccording to figures from the American Cancer Society, approximately 51,540 individuals will be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity or oropharyngeal-based cancer.

Just over 10,000 of the diagnosed will die as a result of these types of cancers.

Oral cancers impact the tongue, the gums, the oropharynx, as well as the tonsils.

Additionally, they affect all areas of the mouth, the lips, salivary glands, and other regions in near proximity to the mouth and throat.

It is common for oral cancers to spread to other regions of the body, such as the voice box, the esophagus, and the lungs.

While oral cancer screenings may seem insignificant to many, they may just save your life.

Oral Cancer Risks

There are several indicators that may determine you are at high risk for developing oral cancer. The most common oral cancer risks include:

  • Being over 40
  • Using tobacco in chew form or through smoking
  • Using alcohol
  • Indulging in an unhealthy diet
  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Having the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Gender – Men are more susceptible

While being in one of these groups puts you at higher risk, it is important to understand that many that develop oral cancer have no previous risks.

The Symptoms

There are various symptoms that could indicate the presence of oral cancer in or around the mouth or throat. If you find that any of these symptoms perplex you for a period of over a week, you should see your dentist right away:

  • Soreness
  • Irritation
  • Patches that are red or white
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Numbness
  • The presence of a lump
  • Problems chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving parts of your mouth
  • Changes in the way the teeth are fitting together
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling as if something is lodged in the throat
  • Hoarseness

Detecting Oral Cancer

When you visit your dentist, you will be asked about your health, medical history, and symptoms. The dental professional will then check your mouth, throat, and surrounding areas.

If an area of suspicion is found, the dentist will determine how to best further evaluate the area. Early detection is ideal in terms of positive outcomes with treatments. If diagnosed in later stages, the 5-year rate of survival is only 60%.

While that means that 60% of all people will live past the 5-year mark, it also indicates that the other 40% will not. Many simply do not realize that oral cancer is life-threatening.

We Can Help

We here at American Dental offer oral cancer screening in Fitzgerald. We know that for every single hour of the day, at least one person dies of oral cancer. The death rate of mouth cancers and the cancers of the surrounding areas is higher than several other types of cancers that are prevalent, like cervical cancer.

An oral cancer screening can add years to your life! It does not take long, it is not expensive, and it could mean the difference between life and death. Contact us today to learn more:


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