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