Cancer can manifest itself almost anywhere you in your body, but oral cancers are among the most common types. Nevertheless, it isn’t as talked about as often as many other forms of cancer, and perhaps because of the relative lack of awareness, many patients are left unprepared to properly look out for it or deal with it. Today, we examine a few things that everyone should know about oral cancer, including the vital role that your dentist plays in helping you detect it early and successfully treat it, if necessary.
- One of the reasons oral cancer is so common is because it encompasses several different types of cancer, including that of the lips, cheeks, tongue, esophagus, and other areas of the mouth and throat. Because it varies so widely, there can be many different early signs of oral cancer, which your dentist checks for thoroughly with a visual inspection during each routine checkup and cleaning appointment. With the use of VELscope early detection technology, which is usually recommended annually for patients over 40 or who are at higher risks due to smoking, patients have an even greater chance at catching oral cancer. VELscope emits a specially calibrated blue light to make tissue abnormalities stand out clearly.
- On average, about 40,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and almost 8,000 people lose the fight against it. Like all cancers, there is no guaranteed cure against it. However, if you refrain from things like tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and high amounts of processed foods, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing it.
- The survival rate of oral cancer is significantly higher among patients who identify and treat it in its earliest stages compared to those who don’t treat it until later stages. In addition to your routine cancer screenings at your dentist’s office, you should also perform your own examinations at home at least once a week. While standing in front of a well-lit mirror, check carefully for signs of ulcers, sores, bumps, lesions, or other abnormalities anywhere in your mouth. If you notice any, then schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible.
Find Out All You Need to Know About Oral Cancer
The more you know about oral cancer, the better prepared you’ll be to protect yourself against it, and your dentist could be your best source of information. To learn more, schedule a consultation or oral cancer screening by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.