Detecting Oral Cancer Early
How Your Family Dentist in Red Deer Can Help
Oral cancer has a much higher fatality rate than it should. In fact, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) estimates that 4,100 new cases of oral cancer were detected in 2013. Sadly, over 1,000 of those diagnosed in 2010 will most likely die from their disease.
Oral cancer mortality rates are increasing even though it is a disease that is relatively easy to treat and make a full recovery. The catch, however, is that it must be found early enough for you to receive treatment.
Your family dentist in Red Deer can help. With proper oral cancer screenings at your annual check-up, your dental professional can detect cancer and refer you to a specialist for prompt treatment.
How Red Deer Dentists Detect Oral Cancer Before It Becomes Deadly
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth. However, most cases are found on the sides of the tongue, floor of the mouth, and around the lips. The cancer cells begin in the mouth, and while your healthy cells are usually resilient, smoking and other irritants break down their barriers and allow the cancer to settle in.
During your visit, your dentist and dental hygienist will inspect your mouth, but also see if you have any of the common symptoms. These symptoms include:
• Sores on the lip or inside of the mouth that will not heal
• Lump on the lip, mouth or throat
• White patches or red patches on the gums, lining of the mouth, or tongue
• Unusual pain and numbness in the mouth
• Changes in the voice or with hearing
• Swelling of the jaw
• Difficulty swallowing or chewing
Risk Factors: Are Your Habits Putting You at Risk for Oral Cancer?
Some people are at higher risk for developing oral cancer.
• Smoking, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use: When combined with heavy alcohol use, smoking and tobacco use dramatically increase the chances of developing oral cancer.
• Age: Anyone over the age of 40 has an increased risk.
• Inadequate Nutrition: A diet that is not rich in fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients could increase your risk. Healthy eating is a preventative measure for many conditions, including oral cancer.
• Gender: Men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer, but recent studies have indicated that women are slowly catching up to men.
• HPV: The latest research indicates that HPV (Human Papillomavirus Infection), specifically HPV-16, increases the risk for oral cancer.
If you are concerned about oral cancer, all it takes is a trip over to your Red Deer dentist’s office. Once you are there, discuss your oral and overall health history to see if you are at risk. Then, request an examination for peace of mind.
Parkland Mall Dental Centre offers preventative and restorative dental services. We are currently accepting new dental patients, and invite existing patients in for an oral screening too.
Call us at 403-342-1118 to schedule a dental exam. You can also fill out our online contact form to learn more about the oral cancer screening process.