April is a month dedicated to bringing awareness to oral cancer prevention. The better you understand the signs and symptoms, the more likely you are to catch the disease in its early stages. Our San Mateo dentist offers oral cancer screening as part of our regular dental exams. So, if you haven’t scheduled a regular check-up with us lately, consider this a friendly reminder.
Do I Have Oral Cancer?
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer vary, but as a rule we look for the following signs when we perform our 5 minute oral cancer screening:
Open sores that haven’t healed in some time
Discoloration of the gums and/or soft tissues
Unexplainable bleeding in the oral cavity
Lumps or bumps in the oral cavity
Lumps or bumps in the neck
In addition to these observations, we look at your throat, lymph nodes, and any abnormal areas that have changed since your previous visit. The key in beating the odds of oral cancer lies in early detection. Unfortunately, all too often, patients die from oral cancer because it wasn’t caught until the advanced stages of the disease.
The Statistics Surrounding Oral Cancer
The Oral Cancer Foundation states that almost 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with some sort of oral cancer this year. Every day nearly 140 people will be diagnosed. The ages of those affected will range from adolescence to the elderly. Factors that lend toward oral cancer include smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, and HPV. Teenagers who haven’t yet received the HPV vaccination should consider the risk in not getting the vaccine. The consequences could prove dire as the number of people being diagnosed with oral cancer no longer center on the middle-aged and elderly. In fact, it is the younger generation who are reporting more frequent diagnoses of oral cancer.
Don’t Add to the Statistics of Oral Cancer
Our San Mateo dentist includes oral cancer screening in every one of his dental exams. With regular checkups, any inconsistencies or abnormalities mean the potential of cancer is detected early when it is most manageable and treatable. If you haven’t visited our office or any other San Mateo dentist in a while, give us a call. We won’t judge you; we simply want to help. If we work together we can promote your oral health and ensure your mouth and teeth are in the best hands.
Oral Cancer Awareness Month is time to educate patients on the severity of the disease. If left untreated, most oral cancer patients won’t make it five years past their initial diagnosis. If caught early, treatment options offer more satisfactory results and a much longer life. Visit our Facebook page to learn more about preventing oral cancer and call our office any time with question you may have.
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office (831) 724-6000