Regularly, people see their dentist every six months—something even the American Dental Association recommends. This way, a person can routinely watch out for signs of cavities, gum problems, and other dental complications that may arise. Aside from these benefits, a dental checkup is also the first line of defense against something more dangerous: oral cancer. Oral cancer, which often appears as a growth or sore that does not seem to go away, includes cancers of the tongue, cheeks, lips, floor of the mouth, hard & soft palate, and throat. If oral cancer is not diagnosed early, it can be life-threatening.
People with lesions that do not go away in two weeks should not wait for their dental checkup to undergo a screening for oral cancer. The same goes for problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking. Numbness, pain, or change in one’s bite also signals a prompt visit to a dentist. At Hoffman Smiles, we highly encourage our patients to take advantage of oral cancer screening to get an early diagnosis for immediate treatment.
For those who want to find out more about oral cancer, here are some facts:
- Oral cancer is ranked as the sixth most common cancers in the world. In the United States, approximately 91,200 people have oral cancer. According to some estimates, about 37,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
- Each year an estimate of 8,000 Americans die of oral cancer. These deaths could have been prevented with early diagnosis and treatment—which makes their deaths particularly tragic.
- Early detection of oral cancer is important. The 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is 75% when diagnosed early. Unfortunately, this percentage drastically drops to 20% if diagnosed late.
- The occurrence of oral cancer is slightly higher among African-American men and those who regularly use tobacco products, consume alcohol, as well as those who are diagnosed with HPV.
- Treatment for oral cancer continues to improve. The past five decades have brought the necessary refinements in radiation therapy and surgical interventions. Even the introduction of chemotherapy has been proven effective in fighting the spread of oral cancer to other sites of the body.
Early diagnosis saves lives! At Hoffman Smiles, we offer Oral Cancer Screenings in Hoffman Estates, IL. Schedule an appointment with us to undergo a comprehensive examination to detect the very first signs of oral cancer! Visit us at 990 Grand Canyon Parkway Suite 215, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169.