You may not know it, but there is a bigger threat to your oral health than just tooth decay and gum disease. More than 49,000 people are diagnosed with an oral or oropharyngeal cancer each year. To raise awareness about the risks of the cancer, the month of April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. As your dentist in Sacramento, Dr. Grivas supports this month’s mission to bring awareness to the importance of oral cancer screenings. With early detection, the long-term survival rate of the cancer rises. Dr. Grivas provides the oral cancer screening you need at routine dental appointments.
Risks of Oral Cancer
Although anyone can develop oral cancer, men are nearly twice as likely to develop the cancer than women. In addition, tobacco users have a significantly increased risk for cancers of the mouth and neck. In fact, 90% of those with oral cancer are tobacco users.
Unfortunately, those with oral cancer have a low survival rate. It is estimated that the 5-year survival rate for the cancer is roughly 64%. The leading cause for the low survival rate is due to late diagnosis. Currently, there are no national guidelines in place for routine screenings. As a result, many people are not aware they need an oral cancer screening. However, with a regular screening, cancerous and precancerous cells are found earlier for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Often, the early signs of oral cancer do not produce any noticeable signs or symptoms. This, combined with the lack of regular screenings, often causes delayed diagnosis. It is not until the cancer has reached advanced stages or spread to other areas of the body that it is detected. With only 14% of those with oral cancer diagnosed during the early stages, you need to see your family dentist in Sacramento regularly for a screening.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Dr. Grivas provides comprehensive oral cancer screenings at preventive dental appointments. In addition to cleaning the teeth and monitoring your dental health, he will conduct a visual examination to look for any areas of concern that could indicate potential cancer. To detect cancerous and precancerous areas that are not visible to the naked eye, he uses the latest oral cancer screening methods and protocols. The screenings are noninvasive and only take a few minutes but produce invaluable, lifesaving benefits.
Protect Your Oral Health
To protect your quality of life and well-being, it is important to reduce your risk factors for oral cancer. If you use tobacco or drink alcohol in excess, it is time to make healthier lifestyle choices. In addition, if you notice any areas of concern, such as sores, swelling, lumps, or thick patches in or around your mouth and throat, schedule a screening. If you develop lesions, numbness, pain, or have difficulty moving your tongue or jaw, call our office.
In support of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Grivas looks forward to helping you take a proactive approach to protect your health. Contact our office today to schedule your oral cancer screening.