It’s officially spring and April is almost here, bringing with it oral cancer awareness month, a time where the American dental community creates public awareness for this fatal disease. More and more we are finding that this public awareness is increasingly vital, as this type of cancer kills 8,000 people every year.
Like many cancers, the survival rate for oral cancer greatly hinges on early detection and treatment, so our goal is to diagnose oral cancer in its earliest stage. At Smiles Dental, we take oral cancer seriously, and offer oral screenings all year round, not just in the month of April.
During Your Screening, We Will Be Looking for Any of the following:
- Do you have persistent irritation or sores in your mouth?
- Do you have a sore throat that doesn’t go away, or feel like there is something back there?
- Are you having ear pain?
- Do you have unusual red or white patches in your mouth?
- Are you experiencing tenderness or numbness in your mouth or on your lips?
- Do you have a lump, rough spot, or crust in your mouth?
- Do you have trouble when you are chewing, swallowing, or speaking?
In the past, most people who developed oral cancer were adults who smoked or used tobacco regularly, or had high rates of alcohol consumption. But increasingly, it is younger patients who are most at risk, as oral and pharyngeal cancer is rising in the younger generation because of HPV (the human papillomavirus). Sadly today HPV has become the leading cause of oral cancer.
As part of our ongoing quest to inform our patients about the dangers of oral cancer, Drs. Doman, Stark, and Jardine are happy to do an oral screening for you at your earliest convenience. If you are ready to schedule your next visit, please call our Smiles Dental team in Longview, Washington at 360.200.6995 today.