Oral cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people in the United States. In fact, nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with it this year alone. Tragically, less than 60% of them will be alive in 5 years. Even though it is such a deadly disease, it can also be highly treatable if caught early. Oral cancer screenings can detect oral cancer while still in its early stages.
A main reason why oral cancer is so dangerous is that it often goes undiagnosed for too long. In fact, it is frequently not found until it has metastasized elsewhere, greatly worsening prognosis. Oral cancer can develop for a long time unnoticed because it manifests few to no symptoms in its early stages. People notice nothing different, and so assume there is no problem.
This is why getting screened is so important. Ignoring oral cancer can let it become virtually untreatable, while finding it early makes treatment much more effective. At Ortho*Dental, Inc., we include oral cancer screenings with every routine dental appointment. A screening involves the careful inspection of the oral cavity, throat, neck, lips, and face for abnormal tissue and other early warning signs.
Even if you are not experiencing symptoms of and have a low personal risk for oral cancer, you should get screened. To find out more about the disease, including its symptoms, risk factors, and treatments, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation website, www.oralcancer.org. If you would like to talk with our doctor about a screening or any other aspect of your oral health, please call our Gallup, NM, office today.