Oral Cancer Awareness-Your Guide to Staying Healthy
In the United States, it is estimated that 140 people per day are diagnosed with oral cancer. All cancers are scary, but oral cancer has a high cure rate if detected and treated early. If the basics of the condition are understood, then people will be in a better position for early detection.
Dr. Tea and the oral healthcare professionals at Ramona Dentistry, located near you in Chino, California, want to educate their patients, new and current, on the risks, the symptoms and the treatment of oral cancer.
How Do I Know if I am at Risk?
The risks of oral cancer are controllable. Generally, those over the age of 40, who drink and smoke, and have a poor diet with little or no fruits or vegetables, are in the highest risk category for oral cancer. There is a sexually-transmitted virus known as HPV linked to oral cancer in younger adults.
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent oral cancer.
What are the Symptoms?
Below is a list of several signs to watch for in the mouth and at the back of the throat.
- A lump, an irritated area or a sore
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- A red or white patch on or below the tongue
- Feelings of numbness
- A sensation that something is caught in the throat
- A firm lump in the jaw or neck area
- A change in speech
When Should I See a Dentist?
Most dentists include a screening for oral cancer as part of their routine examination. If you experience any of the above symptoms, then call your dentist immediately regardless of the date of your next check-up.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
A screening is when the dentist performs both a visual and a physical exam of your tongue, the floor of your mouth, face, lips, jawline and the back of your throat. The exams are painless take only a few minutes.
If a suspicious area is found, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. The results of the biopsy will guide the treatment plan.
Is it Curable?
Like other forms of cancer, it can be cured if detected early. The treatment will be a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
The challenge in detecting oral cancer is people do not easily recognize the warning signs and the early symptoms. Oral cancer is also hard to see, especially if it occurs at the back of the throat.
If you would like a consultation regarding the symptoms of oral cancer, then please contact Dr. Tea and the oral healthcare professionals at Ramona Dentistry in Chino, California. The specialists at Ramona Dentistry are trusted and highly recommended in the detection of oral cancer, as well as general and cosmetic dental treatments and procedures.
Please visit Ramona Dentistry today and take advantage of the specials for new patients.