Oral cancer can appear anywhere in your mouth, including the inside of your cheek, tongue, lips, gums, salivary glands, and tonsils. What do you need to know about oral cancer?
Oral Cancer Can Cause Death if Not Treated Early
The Oral Cancer Foundation reported that nearly 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It will lead to the deaths of more than 9,750 people. That works out to approximately one person per hour, 24 hours a day. The death rate is not due to it being difficult to identify or treat, but because it is often diagnosed late in the condition’s development.
Lifestyle Choices Affect Your Oral Cancer Risk
Your daily choices will affect your cancer risk. Smoking and excessive drinking will increase your chances of developing cancer while a nutritious diet will help reduce them. A healthy, active lifestyle will also help reduce the risk of other types of cancer.
You Should Check Your Mouth Regularly for Signs of Oral Cancer
Monitor your mouth for signs of oral cancer. See a doctor right away if you notice sores that won’t heal, red or white patches, lumps, unexplained tenderness, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or a change in the way your teeth come together when you close your mouth.
When detected early, the five-year survival rate is around 83%. Late-stage detection reduces the survival rate to 32%.
Follow-Up Exams Are a Necessity for Oral Cancer Survivors
Patients who survive oral cancer may later develop cancer in the mouth, throat, or lung. Follow-up exams are necessary to watch for these changes. This should be done for the rest of the patient’s life.
Your Dentist Can Help Detect Oral Cancer Early
Your doctor is your best protection against oral cancer. The VELscope provides more accurate results compared to other detection methods. There’s no need to rinse beforehand as ViziLite requires. Schedule an appointment at Goldstein Dental Group located in Novi, Michigan today for your VELscope oral cancer screening.