At Dr. Howard Kessner Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Dallas, we encourage our patients to come in twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. Don’t re-schedule because you don’t think you have any cavities, though, because each appointment includes a screening for oral cancer.
In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have drawn 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 contracted HPV, you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.
At Dr. Howard Kessner Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we work to broaden awareness of oral cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Courtesy of the CDC, Oral Cancer Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, here are 5 essential things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.
1. About 80% of people with oral cancer use some variety of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
2. 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
3. In many cases, it is almost impossible for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be checked by a dentist or doctor.
4. HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the copious strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most repeatedly linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
5. Black males have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than whites.
At Dr. Howard Kessner Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Dallas, oral cancer screenings are part of every checkup. So is a thorough cleaning. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.
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