Oral Cancer

Every year, close to ten thousand patients die of oral cancer in the United States. Almost 50 thousand new oral cancer diagnoses are made annually, and only half of those individuals survive after 5 years. Death rates from oral cancer are typically high due to late diagnosis, especially if the cancer has spread to other areas. Traditionally, older men who smoked or used chewing tobacco were the most likely to get diagnosed with oral cancer. However, due to rising rates of HPV16 infections (human papilloma virus 16), many younger men and women are diagnosed with oral cancer. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90% are squamous cell carcinomas.
The goal of preventive care is to avoid major medical and dental catastrophes, reduce pain, and keep medical cost low. The most dangerous feature of oral cancer is that it is often painless and unnoticeable. As dental professionals, we perform a thorough oral cancer screening on each patient at every routine visit. We also evaluate radiographs for any signs or abnormalities. Any area in the mouth that does not heal within 14 days should be evaluated by a professional. By noting suspicious areas, we are able to monitor any changes in size, color, or texture of lesions found in the mouth and around the head and neck region. When indicated, we refer patients to a specialist – an oral surgeon – to evaluate the area of concern.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.