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14Dec2010

Oral Cancer Detection Saves Lives

IT’S SURPRISING THAT ORAL CANCER DOESN’T GET THE “PRESS” that other types of cancer seem to get. The numbers are significant. In the United States alone, over 35,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. And while early detection boosts the survival rate to 80–90%, many times the diagnoses doesn’t happen until the cancer has progressed.

So, why does oral cancer so often go undetected? One of the reasons is because many of the symptoms are not painful—people just don’t know. Unfortunately, detecting oral cancer in its later stages significantly lowers survival rates.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should have our team take a look:

  • A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • A lump or thickening of your cheek
  • A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
  • Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
  • Numbness inside your mouth
  • Jaw swelling

Although there may be other causes for these symptoms, having them checked provides peace of mind in knowing the cause.

And of course, it goes without saying—the best offense is a great defense… That is, keep those regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so GREATLY increases the liklihood that any problems will be detected early. It’s absolutely worth it.

As your trusted, lifelong oral health partner, we want to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have any other questions about oral cancer or any of the symptoms mentioned above. And share this information with someone you know! Staying informed helps us all stay healthier.

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