In recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we want to emphasize the importance of early detection. Oral Cancer is particularly dangerous, you may have a very small oral spot or sore and not be aware of it. It frequently develops without producing pain or symptoms. As a result, Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location.
When detected early, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. That is an exciting statistic! Unfortunately, 40% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of these cases are not discovered in its early stages. Early detection is essential.
Screening for Oral Cancer is simple. All you have to do is show up to your bi-annual appointment with your dentist. Be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist if they check for oral cancer. It should be a routine part of every dental examination. An examination of the entire mouth is essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. Your dentist should carefully examine the inside of your mouth, tongue and throat. We are looking for abnormalities such as a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore are detected. Many times these are harmless, however some are not. Harmful spots and sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but professional testing can tell them apart.
It is also very important to be aware of your own oral health. The mouth can experience many changes, such as a canker sore, a wound from biting the inside of your mouth when you chew, or poorly fitting dentures. These are harmless and no cause for alarm. However, a sore that does not go away in two weeks should be brought to the attention of your dentist or primary doctor.
Early discovery is THE most important step in reducing the death rate from oral cancer. Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. (417) 777-8654