Protect Yourself, Get Screened Today
Did you know that oral cancer is the only type of cancer that is increasing in the United States? It’s scary, but true. This is due mostly to new research that suggests a strong correlation between oral cancer and HPV, which is also on the rise. Oral cancer is also one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2016, and nearly 20% of these victims will die from it.
Sorry to get grim, but there is a silver lining – oral cancer can be treatable if caught in the early stages, and your Greenville dentist is in a unique position (inside your mouth) to regularly check for signs of oral cancer, and provide high-tech oral cancer screenings to give you peace of mind.
Signs & symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of oral cancer that we are on the lookout for during your regular exams, and that you should always be aware of and keep an eye out for at home (can occur on the lips, mouth, tongue, gums, throat, or any area inside the mouth):
- Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
- Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
- Unexplained bleeding
- Numbness or loss of feeling
- Pain or tenderness
- Persistent sores
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
- Ear pain
Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:
- Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
- Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
- Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
- Family history of cancer
- Excessive sun exposure
Nothing gives our patients more peace of mind than our ViziLite® Plus oral cancer screening device. ViziLite® Plus uses natural tissue fluorescence visualization to illuminate any cell or tissue abnormalities, and allow us to detect potentially problematic cells before any signs or symptoms may be visible to the naked eye.
ViziLite® Plus ensures the soft tissues in your mouth and throat are healthy and cancer-free. If we do detect an abnormality, it will likely be in the early stage, and you should have the best chance at treatment and full recovery before the disease progresses.
Fight back against oral cancer, and get screened today! If you have any questions about oral cancer, oral cancer screenings, or would like to schedule a screening with your Greenville dentist – Dr. Bean at Complete Dental Care – give us a call today at 903-454-6661.