Quietly, oral cancer is on the rise in America. Researchers report that over the past 10 years, the number of new cases has risen by 30%, which is why dentists around the country have joined forces to recognize April as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this period, there is a big push for the populace to take a stance against the disease by undergoing an oral cancer screening in Anthem. Read on to find out why this is so important.
What is Oral Cancer?
Originating in the flat cells of the mouth, oral cancer is a collection of diseases that cause certain cells to divide without stopping. The cancerous growths can be found in the following areas:
- Floor of the mouth
- Soft and hard palate
The Importance of Early Detection
When you visit your dentist for preventive care, it includes an oral cancer screening. This is critical to undergo because with early detection, the chances of surviving five years or longer increases to 75%. However, if the disease has an opportunity to spread, it’s much harder to treat. Thus, the survival rate can fall to 20% or lower.
The screening is usually conducted in two parts: a visual and tactile examination.
The dentist will be looking for signs of abnormal growths, red or white spots, ulcerations or bumps. The areas that will be inspected are the entire oral cavity, neck and nose.
Next, using his or her hands, the dentist will probe the same areas in search of anything that is uncommon. If there are any oddities discovered, further tests can be conducted to determine if oral cancer is present.
The Other Benefits of Preventive Care
In addition to undergoing an oral cancer screening, there is more to gain from visiting for preventive care. You’ll also receive a thorough cleaning to remove any built-up plaque and tartar.
This is an integral step to preventing oral cancer because bacteria growth has been found to be a major contributor to the development of the disease.
Protect Yourself Today
This year, 53,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with oral cancer, and of that population, 11,000 cases are expected to end fatally. By taking action today, though, you have a chance to protect yourself.
While the main objective is to receive a “clean bill of health,” if any signs of oral cancer are detected, by attacking the disease early, you have a much greater chance of recovering. So to recognize National Oral Cancer Awareness Month properly, reach out to your dentist in Anthem to schedule a visit today.
About the Author
Dr. Lori Anderson earned her dental degree from the University of Colorado School of Dentistry. Featured as one of Phoenix Magazine’s top dentists, she has been providing top-notch dental care for the past two decades. Dr. Anderson helps patients lead happy and healthy lives by providing oral cancer screenings and preventive care at Anderson Dental, and she can be reached for more information through her website.