Oral Cancer: Early Diagnosis Makes A Big Difference

oral cancer screening La Mesa

When it comes to oral cancer survival outcomes, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.

40% of individuals who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.

Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat

Cancers that start in the mouth (or oral cavity) are termed oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue underneath the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue. “Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you might ask. Because the back third of the tongue is considered part of the throat. Throat cancers, or oropharyngeal cancers, start in the oropharynx, the part of the mouth behind the parts considered part of the oral cavity. The oropharynx consists of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.

How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?

Some oral cancers produce symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are caught by your La Mesa dentist or doctor during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more individuals received regular screenings.

A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially as compared to other cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, the patient is referred to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.

Be proactive. Ask your dentist or doctor to complete an oral cancer screening during each examination or physical. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s essential to meet with your health care provider for counsel on oral cancer screenings and prevention.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or snuff)
  • Heavy drinking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • HPV infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Frequent exposure to UV light (a risk factor for cancers of the lips)

To set up a dental oral cancer exam and general dentistry checkup, I invite you to call 619-337-7700.

Sources:
http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/todays-dental-news/item/1882-awareness-is-the-key-to-fighting-oral-cancer#sthash.HhX8jCtf.dpuf
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/what-is-oral-cavity-cancer.html

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-337-7700

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942