If you pay regular visits to your dentist in Centrepointe, then you’re certainly no stranger to lectures about the big bad “C” word – cavities. But this time, your Nepean dental clinic is talking about another, much more important “C” word – cancer. With April marking oral cancer awareness month, it’s time to get informed and get checked.
- Approximately 3,200 new cases of oral cancers are diagnosed each year;
- Around 1,150 deaths are attributed to oral cancer annually;
- The five-year survival rate of oral cancer is 63%. This is much lower than cervical cancer (75%), melanoma cancers (89%) and prostate cancer (95%);
- Oral cancer is the 13th most common cancer.
Fortunately, oral cancer screenings are quick, painless, and can be performed by your regular dentist in Centrepointe. Although the five-minute screenings are only a small part of your routine Nepean dental clinic visits, they are perhaps one of the most important. Detecting oral cancer while it is still localized in an oral area significantly increases the chances of survival. In fact, with early detection, oral cancers are actually highly treatable and in some cases the survival rate is raised to around 80% to 90%. Because your dentist has expertise in inspecting and identifying subtle abnormalities you, yourself, might not notice, scheduling regular visits to your Nepean dental clinic is a crucial part of protecting yourself from oral cancer.
If you or anyone you know experiences any of these symptoms, especially if they persist for two weeks or more, talk to your dentist in Centrepointe immediately:
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Hard or crusted spots or lumps in the mouth
- Numbness, pain or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
- A change in your bite
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Ear pain
- Swelling in the jaw
- Leukoplakia (white lesions)
- Erythroplakia (red lesions)
Risk Factors include:
- Heavy smoking and tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol use
- The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) virus
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Sun exposure
- Gender (men are more susceptible than women)
- Age (around two-thirds of individuals diagnosed are over age 55)
While some people have a fear of going to the dentist, it’s not going that should cause the real worry. Your dentist in Centrepointe can play a very important role in early detection of oral cancer, but it’s up to you to get checked and stay informed. Understanding and awareness of this serious disease can save lives. For more information, contact a Nepean dental clinic today.