Oral Cancer Screenings in DuPont
You may not know anyone personally who has had oral cancer, but chances are you will recognize a name or two on this list: Michael Douglas, Rod Stewart, Sean Connery, Babe Ruth, Diane Von Furstenberg, George Harrison, Sigmund Freud and the list goes on and on. Of course, oral cancer is not restricted to those who have recognizable names. This is one of the reasons why our dentists encourage regular checkups that include a comprehensive oral cancer screening in DuPont.
Oral Cancer by the Numbers
Here are the estimates for oral or oropharyngeal cancer in the United States for 2017 according to the American Cancer Society:
- Approximately 49, 670 people will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer
- Only slightly more than half of those will live beyond five years after their diagnosis.
- Around 9,700 people will die of these cancers.
- The average age at the time of diagnosis is 62, but these cancers can occur in younger people as well.
Oral and oropharyngeal cancer is more common among men than women with the overall rate of diagnosis remaining stable in men and dropping marginally in women. However, there has been a rise in cases of oral cancer that are connected to the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.
Detection and Treatment
Oral cancers develop in the soft tissue of your mouth and in your throat. When early warning signs are recognized, the disease is often treatable. Of course, early detection is essential in order to begin treatment as soon as possible for a favorable outcome. If not detected soon enough, this cancer can spread to lymph nodes in the neck. By checking for oral cancer, Dupont dentists help to ensure a healthy smile and a healthier you!
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
During an oral cancer screening, the dentists at Dupont Family Dentistry are on the lookout for certain signs and symptoms. While this screening is important at your six-month dental checkup, we also encourage patients to be aware of these signs in between visits to our office. They are:
- A sore in your mouth or on your lips that doesn’t heal after a couple of weeks
- A lump or area of thickened tissue in your mouth or neck
- A red or white patch of tissue that is either smooth or scaly in appearance
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
- A numb spot in your mouth
- Persistent pain when you swallowing
- A sore throat or hoarse voice that will not go away
- Loose teeth or ill-fitting dentures
Avoiding Oral Cancer
Is there anything you can do to avoid oral cancer? Yes. Most importantly, if you are a smoker you should quit. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption along with smoking can increase the risk of oral cancer, as can sun exposure to the lips or a family history of cancer. Please reach out to our dentists for additional information and help here in DuPont.