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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

What’s the New Face of Oral Cancer?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Diane von Furstenberg and Babe Ruth are two people who have been in the public eye that were affected by oral cancer.

This month is Oral Cancer Awareness month, and while we like to keep the Word of Mouth Blog upbeat, it’s a good time to have a more serious conversation about the topic of oral cancer.

Many times our image of someone who may be affected by oral cancer is of someone who was a smoker, or possibly a very heavy drinker. In actuality, the amount of people who have oral cancer because of those two reasons is on the decline. But that’s not to say that oral cancer itself is on the decline—sadly, one person dies from oral cancer every hour of the day. Also unknown to many is that currently women are at a greater risk than ever before.

So why is this? In part, it’s because the majority of new cases of oral cancer are HPV-related, which in turn has meant that more and more young people are getting oral cancer…in other words, the “face” of oral cancer as we know it is changing.

But there is some good news: we currently have a great deal of technology that aids in cancer screenings today. This proves just how important it is to visit your dentist since he or she is trained to examine you and look for signs of oral cancer.

More than 60 percent of oral cancer is discovered much later than it needs to be—but imagine if we all could regularly see dentists—that percentage would be lower.

That being said, if you notice any of the following signs of oral cancer, call Dr. Hagen immediately:

• A mouth sore that bleeds easily
• A mouth sore that does not heal (longer than about two weeks)
• Patches you see on your mouth or lip that are red, or white, or a combination
• Repeated, abnormal bleeding in your mouth (that’s not gingivitis)
• Any feeling on the mouth or lips that is not normal to you: pain, tenderness or even numbness
• If you are having a hard time, or even pain, when swallowing
• Difficulty wearing dentures
• A lump or swelling in or around your neck

Do you think someone else should know this information? Be sure to pass this blog along to your family and friends. Remember that since visiting your dentist regularly helps with early detection of oral cancer, you could be saving a life!

Interested in setting up an appointment with Hagen Dental? Visit our site here. We’d love to hear from you. Or connect with us on Facebook.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Did you know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness month?

Survival rates for those who suffer from oral cancer are extremely low compared to other cancers. In fact, its roughly a 41 percent 10-year survival rate. The best preventative measure is early detection, which is why Hagen completes about 50 VELscope®-specific oral cancer screenings each month (and we screen each patient for cancer each time they are in.)

We also encourage patients to be open and honest about risk factors. These include:

  • Personal or family history of cancer
  • Exposure to the sun
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol abuse

Additionally, we encourage patients to tell Dr. Hagen if they notice common symptoms such as discolored white and red patches, bleeding, swelling, or persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth. Awareness of these symptoms is incredibly important because it drives patients to get screened sooner than later. There are about 30,000 new cases or oral cancer each year in the United States  and it is not uncommon for patients to come in for screenings only after the cancer is already in an advanced stage.

If you’ve noticed a change in your oral health or have not yet come in for your screening. Call Hagen today!

Want to learn more about the screening? Find information on VELscope® here.

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer and VELscope®

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Each year, about 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. The cancer is much more prominent in males and is generally diagnosed in patients 60 years and older. It is historically discovered late in its development, which means that it is likely to be at a high risk cancer stage. Early stages of oral cancer do not always cause painful symptoms, so the disease often goes unnoticed. These are reasons why Hagen tests all our adult patients yearly for oral cancer with VELscope®, regardless of any risk factors. (We also always recommend a VELscope® screening to anyone who feels they may be at risk.)

Below are some risk factors taken from the National Cancer Institute:

  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • HPV
  • Personal history of oral cancer
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Betel nut use

Here are some noticeable symptoms we have taken from the Oral Cancer Foundation:

  • A mouth sore that does not heal within two week
  • Thickening of the cheek tissue
  • Patches of white or red discoloring on the gums, tongue, tonsil or mouth lining
  • Sore throat
  • Jaw and tongue tenseness
  • Tongue and mouth numbing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Chronic hoarseness

VELscope® is non-invasive and has a fluorescence technology that facilitates earlier detection of abnormal tissue. During the procedure, VELscope® shines a safe blue light into your oral cavity. While  healthy tissue glows, abnormal or suspicious tissue remains dark.

VELscope® will detect, but not confirm that a patient has oral cancer. If detected, Hagen will recommend you to a specialist for a biopsy. VELscope® will detect any abnormality before it is visible to the human eye. It is a short exam and is recognized by the World Health Organization.

Do you think you may be at risk? To learn more about VELscope® call Hagen Dental at 513-251-5500 and schedule an appointment.