Oral cancer affects over 48,000 Americans each year, resulting in an alarming death rate of roughly one person per 24 hours. With nearly 9,600 Americans dying each year from oral cancer, we want to raise awareness about the cancer and the importance of regular cancer screenings. The death rate and long term prognosis for those with oral cancer continues to rise due to lack of education about the cancer. Not to mention, oral cancer doesn’t produce noticeable signs in its early stages. As a result, oral cancer is usually not diagnosed until it has reached the later stages or spread to other areas of the body. Thankfully, you can benefit from an oral cancer screening in Irving when visiting your dentist for a checkup.
Oral Cancer in the United States
Oral cancer is classified in a category of cancers that affect the mouth, head and neck. However, brain cancer falls into a separate category. Since oral cancer can occur in numerous areas, many don’t notice the early signs of cancer. With more than 450,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed around the world each year, you need to undergo regular screenings from a dentist in Irving while learning to spot the signs of early cancer.
According to the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research, only 50 percent of people in the U.S. diagnosed with oral cancer will survive longer than 5 years. The long term prognosis for oral cancer is bleak due to late diagnosis. However, when diagnosed early, the long term prognosis increases significantly.
By catching oral cancer early, it not only provides prompt treatment, but prevents the cancer from spreading and a secondary cancer from developing. With someone with oral cancer having a 20 times higher risk for developing a secondary cancer within 10 years of the initial first diagnosis, you need to undergo regular screenings.
Detecting Oral Cancer
Most often, the early stages of oral cancer produce no visible symptoms, however, among the first symptoms to appear include bumps and lesions in and round the mouth, including on the lips. These lesions are often red and become uncomfortable, especially for denture wearers. In some cases, it can feel like there is an obstruction in the throat or certain areas in and near the mouth may become numb. Overtime, it can become difficult to move the jaw or tongue, making it difficult to eat and speak. In addition, oral health complications can develop and you may experience a chronic sore throat.
Thankfully, your dentist in Irving can screen for oral cancer, even if there are no visible signs. At your routine dental checkup in Irving, your dentist will use special procedures to look for cancers and precancerous cells. With a regular screening, you increase your chance of catching oral cancer early for a more promising long term prognosis.
At 21st Century Dental & Sleep Center, we use safe and effective procedures for oral cancer screening in Irving. Benefit from added peace of mind by undergoing an oral cancer screening at your next appointment. Contact us today to learn more.