The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates one person is dying every hour, 24 hours a day, from oral cancer. They define it as part of a group of cancers that affect the head and neck. Oral cancer comprises almost 85% of this category of cancers.
Who gets it?
Many years ago, oral cancer affected far more men than women. However, today the playing field is becoming more level and a ratio of 8 to 1 is no only 2:1. Age has also evolved over time. The focus on oral cancer prevention was always aimed at the over 40 population in the past but new research is showing a higher occurrence in young people than ever before.
What increases the risk?
There are several lifestyle factors that increase a person’s risk for any cancer and especially oral cancer. These include:
What are the warning signs?
The human mouth is lined with numerous mucous membranes. Changes to these tissues can be signs of a huge variety of things ranging from something as simple to treat as anemia to something far more serious such as cancer. It’s important to keep an eye on your mouth and any changes you notice such as:
What can be done prevention-wise?
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of the disease”. Their studies are showing that less than 15 percent of those who regularly visit a dentist are being screened for oral cancer. Making sure you choose a dentist, such as Dr. Collins, that routinely performs oral cancer screenings and making sure your friends and family are as well, can save many lives including your own. Keeping an eye on your mouth at home for any changes as well can help you know when to come in for a check-up between regularly scheduled visits.
What happens if something suspect is found?
There are over 30,000 new diagnoses of oral cancer every year and that number is constantly climbing. If you have sores in the mouth that Dr. Collins finds concerning, a biopsy will be performed to determine if the change in tissue is caused by cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation stresses the importance of having any sore or discolored area in the mouth looked at by a professional if it hasn’t healed in 14 days or less. Early detection increases the odds of recovery tremendously.
Call our office at 509-532-1111 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788