While we wait to see if April showers will indeed bring May flowers, there’s also a more serious matter we’re thinking about this month here at Dr. Dental – Oral Cancer Awareness.
During the month of April, dental professionals around the world work to raise awareness of this illness, which is the sixth most common cancer.
The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer in 2013 and cause approximately 8,000 deaths.
Scientists do not know the exact cause of oral cancer; however, research shows heavy use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption, HPV (human papilloma virus) and excessive sun exposure are linked to increasing the risk.
Because oral cancer is usually not diagnosed in its early stages, less than half of all oral cancer patients are cured. In fact, of all major cancers, oral cancer has the worst five-year survival rate at about 57 percent. If detected during the early stages, the survival rate jumps to 80 percent or more.
At Dr. Dental, we strive to educate our patients of the risks associated with this illness, and we offer oral cancer screenings to our patients. During this exam, our trained dentists feel for lumps or irregular tissues, changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity. Our experts also thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, looking for any sores or discolored tissues. If oral cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
Early detection is key and regular dental check-ups can literally save your life. If you haven’t visited us recently, be sure to schedule an appointment today.
For more information on oral cancer screenings, call your nearest Dr. Dental location.
Our family-owned dental offices are proud to bring affordable, healthy smiles to all ages at convenient locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.