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Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Get Screened Today.

It may surprise you when your dentist suggests you get an oral cancer screening.  You may think, “But I don’t smoke,” or “No one in my family ever had oral cancer. Why should I worry?”

Oral cancer is on the rise. Is it the sixth-deadliest form of cancer – deadlier than cervical, brain, ovarian or skin cancer.  In many cases, this is because it’s often asymptomatic until it’s an advanced stage.

That’s why all of our dentists offer to supplement the conventional oral cancer screening exam with an Identafi exam.  Identafi uses light techonology to detect abnormalities not visible to the naked eye and can help dentists detect oral cancer in its earliest and most-curable stage.

There is a charge for this quick, painless and non-invasive oral cancer screening exam. However, it is covered by some insurance plans.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Often times, people may not realize they have oral cancer.  It’s often asymptomatic in the early stages.  As it advances, symptoms may include:

  • hoarseness
  • a sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal
  • a color change of the oral tissues
  • a lump, thickening, crust spot or small eroded area
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • trouble chewing, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue

Startling Statistics

Think you can’t get it?  Think again. Consider this:

  • More than 37,000 people will be diagnosed this year
  • Sexually-active people between the ages of 25 and 50 are the fastest growing at-risk group
  • Oral cancer has been linked to the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV 16/18)
  • HPV-related oral cancer cases are up 225% in the past two decades
  • 27% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer had no traditional risk factors. They were not heavy tobacco users nor heavy drinkers.
  • Only about half of oral cancer patients are still alive five years after diagnosis
  • With early diagnosis, the survival rate jumps to almost 90%

Get screened today.  It could save your life.

 


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