Information on Screenings and More
April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and as your dentist in Gainesville, we wanted to bring awareness to our patients in this month-long event, and what it concerns.
Cancer, no matter where it is located in the body, is a terrifying disease for anyone to encounter. When it comes to oral cancer, there will be approximately 43,000+ new diagnoses THIS YEAR ALONE. This statistic makes it qualified as one of the fastest growing types of cancer today. Amongst those diagnosed, it is estimated that only approximately 57% of them will be alive in 5 years’ time. That means that this death rate is higher than many of the more “heard about” cancers, such as skin cancer, cervical, thyroid and more.
How has oral cancer spread so rapidly?
Through tougher and tougher government regulations in the past years, the number of people smoking has declined. This, however, does not mean that all people have stopped or that number is too significant. Smokers and drinkers are considered “high risk” for developing oral cancer, as well as those who have the sexually transmitted disease HPV, the human papillomavirus. This quiet, often times hard to diagnose, disease can be spread amongst sexual partners all-too-easily. If you are of an age in which you engage in sexual contact- you are old enough to be screened for oral cancer.
How does the screening work?
Typically an oral cancer screening will be performed every 6 months at your routine cleaning and exam appointments. This means that dentists are ultimately the first ones to discover and on the front lines of defense against, oral cancer.
The exam is quick, often free, painless, non-invasive and most of all: NEEDED.
The exam is done primarily by vision and with the aid of certain dental tools. Special lights, dyes and rinses may also be used in determining the signs of oral cancer.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain regularly scheduled appointments with oral cancer exams performed at everyone. Don’t become one of the nearly 50% who may suffer from what could be an avoidable loss at the hands of a terrible disease.
For more information on Oral Cancer, please head to The Oral Cancer Foundation Website.
To schedule an appointment with your dentist in Gainesville, please call (940) 665-4761.