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The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening City Name, ST

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Dental Patient in Chair Oral cancers are among the least talked about cancers. These are also among the most treatable cancers if found in the early stages. Oral cancers are not as unusual as you may think. In fact, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, these types of cancer now claim over ten thousand lives each year. Nearly 55 thousand cases of oral cancer are identified annually. The survival rate for patients with oral cancer is fairly high. Survivors often live with a variety of issues due to the ravages of the disease. Oral cancer can have a negative affect on a person’s ability to chew, swallow, speak and in some instances, breathe. Patients must also learn to adjust to living with an altered appearance. These issues associated with the cancer are greatly reduced or even eliminated when the cancer is diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

Early Diagnosis

Less than 20% of the general population are regularly screened for oral cancer. This is mostly due to the lack of public awareness. The screening takes less than five minutes. If a cancer is diagnosed in the initial stages of development, that five minutes could save your life. Successful treatment of the disease is contingent upon early diagnosis. Survival rates for those who have had the cancer identified early is between 80-90%.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancers

There are certain factors that will raise the risk of getting an oral cancer. Tobacco use is one of the most common factors. Whether you chew it or smoke it, tobacco use considerably increases your risk of cancer. Alcohol consumption is another factor that can increase the risk. The same virus that is responsible for cervical cancer in females is also thought to raise the risk of oral cancer. This is known as the HPV-16 virus. There is a small group of people who have no identifiable cause for the disease. About 7% of oral cancer patients are thought to have a genetic predisposition to oral cancers.

The Oral Cancer Screening

The preliminary oral cancer screening usually does not require any extensive or invasive equipment. The dentist palpitates and inspects the soft tissues of the mouth, face and throat. This exam is to find any areas of swelling, lumps or abnormalities. This process can reveal any bumps or lumps in the cheeks, lips and throat that may not be readily visible. Any ulcerated areas are noted, along with red or white spots. Rough areas, growths and asymmetry are also noted. The screening takes just a few minutes of painless palpitation. Dr. Scott Babin and his team of dental professionals care about your oral health. Schedule an appointment with us to ensure that you have a proper oral cancer screening.

Posted on behalf of Scott A. Babin, DDS and Associates

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