Your Dentist Can Save Your Life
April is Oral cancer Awareness Month. Close to 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 43,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.
Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today that statement is still true.
Very recent data (late 2008-2011) lead us to believe that the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population are non-smokers under the age of fifty, which would indicate a paradigm shift in the cause of the disease, and in the locations where it most frequently occurs in the oral environment. – See more at: http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/#sthash.ArLYcJpa.dpuf
By the time most cases of oral cancer are diagnosed, they have metastasized to other areas. Visit your dentist twice a year and ask for an oral cancer screening once a year to help detect any problems early. Early diagnosis is crucial with oral cancer.
Because there are so many benign tissue changes that occur normally in your mouth, and some things as simple as a bite on the inside of your cheek may mimic the look of a dangerous tissue change, it is important to have any sore or discolored area of your mouth, which does not heal within 14 days, looked at by a professional. Other symptoms include; a lump or mass which can be felt inside the mouth or neck, pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or chewing, any wart like masses, hoarseness which lasts for a long time, or any numbness in the oral/facial region. Unilateral persistent ear ache can also be a warning sign.
For the month of April, Dr. Camacho will perform a Velscope oral cancer screening for $15.00 (normally $30) with any regular appointment.
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