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Posts Tagged ‘risk factors for oral cancer’

Do You Know the Top 5 Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

what to know oral cancer

Oral cancer: it’s a serious subject, and for good reason!

Cancer, as you may or may not know, is when cells in our body begin to grow in a way that is out of control. Really, any cell in our body can become cancerous.

So what about cancer of the mouth or “oral cancer”? (more…)

Oral Cancer: This Is Why Early Detection Is Critical

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

oral health at hagen dental dds in cincinnati ohio

Almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year (1). Sounds pretty surprising, doesn’t it? This includes cancers of the tongue, lips, gums, and other soft palate tissues of the mouth or upper throat.

Talking about cancer can be scary, but there is one key component to improved odds: Early detection. Detecting the issue before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body dramatically raises the rate of survival. One of the best ways to ensure early detection is to stay consistent with your dental care and dental cleanings.

Regular dental checkups involve more than just your teeth cleaning. Dr. Hagen’s exam includes a review of the health of your entire oral cavity – teeth, gums, tongue, and palate – for signs of disease, including oral cancer. Even though you may think you know your teeth pretty well, we’re actually able to screen you for cancer when you come in!

What Are We Looking For?oral health risk factors

Dr. Hagen is trained to perform a thorough head and neck examination at your dental visit. This exam detects changes in the tissues of the mouth and surrounding areas that could signal the beginnings of cancer. Dr. Hagen knows what signs to look for, what additional tests or labs to order, and when to refer to a specialist, when necessary.

Here are some of the cancer warning signs we screen for:

  • White or red lesions that are not healing
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Lumps or thickening of the soft tissue, such as the neck or cheek
  • Soreness of the throat, or pain in the mouth that does not go away
  • Chronic feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Persistent ear pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw

Sure, that seems like quite a list, but know that just because you have a symptom on this list, doesn’t mean you definitely have cancer. Because there are so many ranging symptoms, that’s why you need someone qualified to look at your mouth and jaw for early detection.

Also, know that it indicates follow up and further analysis is typically needed, because if you do have cancer, early treatment can make a critical difference in fighting the disease.

symptoms of oral cancerAnd Why is Early Detection So Important?

Which leads us to our next point: if oral cancer is discovered early, the remission rate with treatment is nearly 90 percent (5). (Remission is what doctors use when speaking about cancer to mean that there are no symptoms and no signs of cancer. This is used rather than the word “cure.”)

Approximately 60 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will survive at least 5 years, but this number is an average: The 5-year survival rate for those with localized disease (cancer restricted to the mouth) is 83 percent. But if the cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), the 5-year survival rate is only 32 percent.

Said another way, early detection gives you the best opportunity to diagnose the cancer while it is still localized, and before it spreads to other areas of the body (2).  

Remembering to schedule your regular dental appointment is important. Rest easy knowing we are not only trained to help treat and prevent dental problems, but also to keep a lookout and help spot signs of more serious concerns.

Is it time for your next dental appointment? Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/oral-cancer/warning-signs-of-oral-cancer
  2. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/DetectingOralCancer.htm
  3. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/
  4. http://www.dentistry.com/conditions/oral-cancer/mouth-cancer-symptoms-early-warning-signs
  5. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/oral-cancer