April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer Month

 

April is Nation Oral Cancer Awareness month, and the doctors and staff of Fiorentini Family Dentistry would like to invite you to our office for a complimentary oral cancer screening!

 

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 35,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed this year and over 25% of these patients will have no known risk factors before diagnosis!!  On average, 60% will survive more than five years but oral cancer still claims 7,600 lives annually.

 

A comprehensive oral cancer screening takes less than 5 minutes.  Early detection can increase the chance for a cure and can decrease invasive treatment.  Oral cancer screenings are a routine part of the exam performed during your visit to the dentist so regular visits can help you stay a step ahead of oral cancer.

 

 

Are you at risk?

  • 25% have no known risk factors
  • Alcohol and tobacco are the greatest risk factor
    • Using them in combination increases the risk 15 times!!
  • Smokeless tobacco
    • Not a safe alternative to cigarettes with a 400% increased chance of oral cancer in users
  • HPV virus
    • Historically, oral cancer has been a disease seen mostly in adults but the fastest growing population with oral cancer is in young, health, non-smoking individuals thanks to this sexually transmitted disease
    • Leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer (the back part of the mouth)
  • Prolonged sun or tanning bed exposure

Signs and Symptoms

  • Patients may have no symptoms at all which is why routine dental exams, where we perform oral cancer screening, are vital to catching early signs of oral cancer.
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A red or white patch
  • Bleeding, pain, or numbness
  • Change in voice
  • Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well
  • Pain or trouble swallowing
  • Consistent swelling of the jaw
  • Consistent sore throat

 

What can you do?

  • Early detection is the key!
  • Regular self-examinations will help you become more vigilant and notice changes in the mouth early
  •  If you do have risk factors, try to reduce your exposure and see your dentist for an oral examination

 

 

 

 

h/t aaoms.org

 

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