As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology and top-tier care to our patients at Sindledecker Dentistry, we are dedicated to screening our patients for oral cancer. Regrettably, oral cancer claims a life every hour in North America, ranking as the sixth most commonly diagnosed form of cancer. The five-year survival rate remains at 50%, and oral cancer stands as one of the few cancers without a notable improvement in survival rates.
Oral cancer can manifest on various oral structures, including the lips, gums, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth. Potential symptoms encompass a persistent and easily bleeding sore in the mouth or throat, an enduring red or white patch, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, or coughing up blood. Late-stage symptoms may include difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaws. While predicting oral cancer occurrence is challenging, recognizing certain risk factors can help mitigate potential risks.
Key risk factors include:
- Age (most oral cancer patients are over 40)
- Tobacco use, whether from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Persistent viral infections, such as HPV16
- A diet lacking or low in fruits and vegetables
Receiving a diagnosis of oral cancer is undoubtedly distressing. If you harbor concerns about your susceptibility to oral cancer, engage in a discussion with us about screenings and proactive measures to reduce your risk. Through routine visual inspections, Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz, along with our team at Sindledecker Dentistry, can often identify premalignant abnormalities and cancer in the early stages. Early detection facilitates more cost-effective and successful treatment, potentially saving lives. Inquire about an oral cancer screening at your next appointment with Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz and our team at Sindledecker Dentistry!