Merion Village Dental Blog

Oral Cancer Awareness: Early Diagnosis is Key

April 24, 2014

Merion Village

Categories: Oral Cancer

Oral cancer may be the worst disease that nobody talks about.

Each year, 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with this fatal form of cancer. 75% of oral cancer cases are caused by alcohol and tobacco, and recent research suggests that a large portion of the other 25% may be from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted catalyst of oral cancer.

Over the last 50 years, the 5-year survival rate has remained at 50%, which is well-below the survival rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and malignant melanoma. The survival rate is poor, but quality of life for the survivors is often much worse. Imagine living with no lower jaw, never tasting food again or eating a liquid diet for the rest of your life through a feeding tube. Oral cancer is certainly a disease that you want to catch before it’s too late.

Self-detection and early diagnosis are the best ways to prevent oral cancer from progressing and spreading:

  1. Periodically check your mouth for lumps, bumps or sores. Specifically, check the floor of your mouth and the base of your tongue.
  2. Unexplained voice changes, ulcers and mouth soreness can be signs of oral cancer. Consult a dentist or physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
  3. Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Early diagnosis is essential and can lead to treatment that will prevent the cancer from spreading.

At Merion Village Dental, we provide oral cancer screenings at each checkup appointment to ensure that our patients are properly diagnosed in the event of a cancerous formation. Our dentists are here to answer any questions about your oral health and are trained to diagnose lumps and potential tumors.

Please do not ignore the signs of oral cancer. Early detection and diagnosis of this disease can save your life.

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