It is important to maintain a steady dental hygiene routine in order to have a healthy smile. But there is more to it than just a nice smile. Preventative steps must be taken to also prevent diseases like gum disease and oral cancer. And since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to take a second to learn a bit more about this particular form of cancer.
Let’s throw out some statistics so you can get a better grasp on why we need to be aware of oral cancer. Oral cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.
During an oral cancer screening, your dental professional will examine your mouth for red or white patches, and your throat and neck for any lumps that may be developing. Some may have a specific screening dye or laser to further examine your mouth. It’s all painless and part of your typical dental checkup, so there’s no need to worry about a thing.
Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.
Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.