Dental associations urge regular oral cancer examinations for early detection

Almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year. The 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64%. When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.

As the Nation prepares to observe the 14th Annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month this April, the American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, American Academy of Periodontology, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Dental Association have joined the Oral Cancer Foundation in its campaign to remind everyone that regular oral cancer examinations from your dental professional are the best methods to detect oral cancer in its early stages. Regular dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

In between dental visits, it is important for patients to be aware of the following signs and symptoms, and to see their dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks.

  • a sore or irritation that doesn't go away
  • red or white patches
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

Factors That May Cause Cancer

Research has identified a number of factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer. Those at an especially high risk of developing oral cancer are heavy drinkers and smokers older than 50.The human papilloma virus version 16, which is sexually transmitted, is related to the increasing incidence of mouth cancer in non-smoking patients. It is likely that there is a complex interaction of many external and internal factors that play a role in the development of oral cancer. 

Your mouth is one of your body's most important early warning systems. Don't ignore any suspicious lumps or sores that last more than two weeks. Should you discover something suspicious, make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.

Source:

American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

Comments

  1. Gary W. Vollan L.D. Gary W. Vollan L.D. United States says:

    Fragment the oral healthcare system so every American can afford an oral health exam and cleaning at an early age and thereafter. Dental Hygienists should be at schools and all public health offices providing free dental exams and dental cleanings along with alternative oral healthcare providers and community dental clinics being the answer to the oral healthcare crisis across our Nation.

    If corporate ADA would quit squeezing out competition it would free up more chairtime for children, restorative, and emergency dental procedures but instead, the American Dental Association lobbies federal and state legislators to disregard legislation that would regulate midlevel oral healthcare providers such as denturists, dental therapists, dental health ai...de therapists, and independent practices for dental hygienists and more productive public health dental services.

    Corporate ADA’s self-serving political agenda is hurting consumers across our Nation by suppressing qualified competitors which provide oral health care services, especially to those with disparities. The American Dental Association works against its own vision and mission statement by suppressing competition which has been trained and educated in providing oral health care services to those who are unable to pay the high prices charged by dentists, leaving Americans without needed dental and oral healthcare.

    Gary W. Vollan L.D. State Coordinator; Wyoming State Denturist Assn.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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