At Sundance Dental & Orthodontics in Farmington NM, we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning. If you skip it because you don’t think you have any new cavities, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more convincing reason to see us regularly.
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have received a lot of public attention. There is less awareness of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have contracted HPV, you’re at even greater risk.
At Sundance Dental & Orthodontics, we work to increase awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 5 essential things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
- About 80% of individuals with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
- 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
- In many cases, it is almost impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be checked out by a dentist or doctor.
- HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the various strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most frequently linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
- African American men have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
Don’t become a statistic. At Sundance Dental & Orthodontics in Farmington NM, we do oral cancer screenings at every checkup. That alone makes the trip worth it, but we also provide a full range of family dentistry services. Schedule your next checkup today.
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