Oral cancer is not as rare as you might have thought. Every April, the dental community comes together to fight against a disease that will affect 45,750 Americans every year.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Out of those 45,750 newly diagnosed, 57 percent of them will pass away in the next 5 years. Oral cancer causes 8,650 deaths per year, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in the early stages, most patients do not feel any pain or symptoms. What accounts for oral cancer’s high fatality rate? Late detection.
Raising our patient’s awareness about this serious, and possibly life threatening, disease and its risk factors are crucial.
There are several risk factors including:
- Heavy alcohol abuse – increases your risk
- Smoking and tobacco use – long term historic cause of oral cancer
- HPV (Human papillomavirus) – leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.
At My Plantation Dentist, Dr. Finkelstein routinely performs head and neck exams, including an oral cancer screenings for her patients and can identify abnormalities in your mouth. Performing an oral cancer screening is a non-invasive procedure that can save lives! It only takes a few minutes for Dr. Finkelstein to perform a thorough, systematic examination of the mouth and neck to detect oral or pharyngeal cancers at an early and curable, stage.
If you or any loved one is experiencing the following symptoms, please talk with your dentist immediately:
- A thick, or hard spot, or lump
- A roughened or crusted area
- Sores in the mouth that bleed easily or do not heal
- Numbness, tenderness or pain
Stay one-step ahead oral cancer and visit your dentist regularly! Schedule your next appointment at My Plantation Dentist with Dr. Finkelstein by calling 954-584-1030.