At The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth, we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. If you skip dental checkups because you don’t think you have any cavities, perhaps getting an oral cancer screening is a more persuasive reason to get you to come in.
Lung and breast cancer get a lot of public attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have tested positive for HPV, you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.
We work to elevate awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Here are five vital things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
- About 80% of people with oral cancer use some form of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
- 40% of those who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
- In many cases, it is almost impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms, or none at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be examined by a dentist or doctor.
- HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the numerous strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most often linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
- African American males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
As you can see, oral cancer is not something to be taken lightly. That’s why The Parkway Dentist provides oral cancer screenings for our patients. We also provide general and family dentistry, and a full range of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Schedule an appointment with us today.
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