It is expected that in 2015 there will be over 43,000 Americans diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral cancer can strike anyone, though the general public knows little about this disease. Smokers and tobacco users are at high risk, but even if you don’t smoke, you are not immune to oral cancer. The fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients are people under 40 who do not smoke. This is because of the connection between oral cancer and the human papillomavirus. It is important to see the dentist regularly and be screened for oral cancer because early detection increases the chances of survival.
At Cardinal Dental Group, we screen all patients for oral cancer once a year and screen new patients during their new patient appointment. We use advanced technology called OralID to make oral download itube app cancer screening quick and comfortable for our patients. With OralID’s fluorescent technology, we can detect cancer, pre-cancer and other abnormalities in the mouth. OralID can detect lesions and abnormalities that a regular clinical exam cannot.
What you can do to reduce your oral cancer risk:
- Make sure to get a screening from your dentist at least once a year.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily.
- If you smoke or use tobacco products, quitting can greatly reduce your oral cancer risk in addition to reducing your risk of other serious health problems.
- If you are not a smoker, you can reduce your oral cancer risk and improve your overall oral health by having fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, limiting alcohol consumption and protecting your lips from sun exposure by using lip balm with sunscreen.
If you have been diagnosed with HPV, you should be screened for oral cancer. HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer; cancer at the back of the mouth or throat. HPV-related oral cancer may have less obvious or no symptoms as compared to tobacco-related oral cancer, so screening by a dentist is especially important.
If you have questions about oral cancer or would like to set up an appointment for an exam and screening, call us now at 936.258.5597.
Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, tell your friends about oral cancer and encourage them to get screened too.