Every year, there are more and more cases of oral cancer. In fact, more than 51,000 new cases will be identified this year. This particular cancer is fast developing, and it can be fatal. Being able to catch it early will enable early treatment to be given, which can save your life.
This type of cancer is often first identified by dentists more than by any other kind of medical practitioner. When people make regular visits to the dentist, cancer can often be seen shortly after it develops. Dentists are trained to recognize cancer of the mouth and throat.
Identifying oral cancer the mouth is often difficult because of the way it multiplies. As it grows, it is often painless. This means that people who may see symptoms are often not concerned about it because it is not accompanied by pain until it is in the more advanced stages.
Get a Biopsy
When a dentist suspects that something might be cancer, they can start the initial testing of it for you. They can perform an initial biopsy. Afterward, if they are suspicious of the development in your mouth, they can send it to a lab for further testing.
Dentists are able to conduct several types of testing for cancer of the mouth. This will help them identify it. They may use dyes, special light, use a special scope to look at your esophagus, and more.
The Survival Rate
When this cancer is spotted early, the survival rate is much higher than when it is discovered in an advanced stage. When discovered early, the survival rate at the five-year mark is about 36 percent. When discovered in a more advanced stage, about 83 percent of the patients will not make it past the five-year mark.
When to See a Dentist
There are often many kinds of sores that may develop in your mouth or throat. Most of these are not a problem. Unfortunately, cancer can sometimes start out looking like a regular type of sore in your mouth. Dentists recommend that you should see a dentist right away if a sore in your mouth is not healing after two weeks.
People who have higher risk factors need to watch their mouth more carefully. The risk factors include smoking, heavy alcohol use, men older than 55, have an oral HPV infection, have poor nutrition, poor oral health, and more.
Many dentists will conduct an oral screening of your mouth for cancer when they clean your teeth. This is one reason dentists are more likely to spot this type of cancer. The screening only takes about a minute and involves feeling your neck and throat for lumps, as well as looking in your mouth. In order to get this screening, you should ask them to conduct it because some dentists will not do it unless you ask.
You can get screening for oral cancerfrom the dentists at Global Family Dental. If you need it, special screening is available for people who are at a higher risk of developing it. Call us about your questions or to schedule an appointment for a screening or other dental care.