[Info_Box] Only about 56 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will survive more than five years. [/Info_Box]
The American Cancer Society estimates that oral cancer strikes tens of thousands of Americans each year. The reason these statistics are so grim is that oral cancer is often detected in its later stages. But when it’s detected early, before the disease spreads to destroy healthy tissue, the chances of survival are greatly improved.
How do we detect oral cancer at the dental office?
Because early detection is vital to surviving oral cancer, we will perform a thorough oral cancer screening each time we see you in our office for an exam. We’ll feel for lumps or abnormal tissues on your neck and inside your mouth. We will also thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, especially the most frequent oral cancer sites: your tongue, the floor of your mouth, your soft palate, your lips, and your gums.
What you can do?
Come see us at least twice a year or every six months for your regular dental checkups and cleaning, and let us know if you notice any of these warning signs:
- A sore that does not heal or that bleeds easily
- A red, white or otherwise discolored patch or lump in or around your mouth
- An area that seems to have thickened, raised or become hardened
- A rough patch of tissues
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
- A Change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
- Dramatic weight loss
It is vital that you not ignore a mouth sore just because it doesn’t hurt. Most pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions are completely painless.
You can also minimize your chances of developing oral cancer by making some lifestyle changes.
- Don’t smoke or use chewing tobacco. Users of dip, snuff, or chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
- Avoid excessive alcohol usage
- Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. They are the best anti-cancer!
Make your appointment today with Dr. Randy Lozada at any of his two offices in Lancaster and Newhall by calling 661-799-3920 most likely your insurance covers for this type of procedure.
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