HERE AT LAKE OCONEE DENTISTRY, IT’S ALWAYS SURPRISING TO US HOW LITTLE “PRESS COVERAGE” ORAL CANCER SEEMS TO GET compared to all of the other types of cancer. The statistics, however, are significant… In the U.S. alone, over 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. And while early detection boosts survival rates way up to 80 or 90%, often the diagnoses doesn’t happen until the cancer has progressed much farther than it needs to.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why does something as serious as oral cancer go undetected so often?” One of the reasons is that most of the time the symptoms are not painful—and people just don’t know to check! After all, if it doesn’t hurt, there’s no problem, right? Unfortunately, we’re sorry to report that some dentists don’t really check for it either. Detecting oral cancer in its later stages significantly lowers the survival rate.
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports thatif you’re experiencing some of all of the following symptoms, you should have Drs. Patti Bradley, David Bradley, or Phil Boswell take a look:
- Abnormal jaw swelling
- Thickening or lump in one of your cheeks
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing (often)
- A sore in your mouth that doesn’t seem to heal within 2 weeks
- Difficulty moving your jaw or your tongue
- White and/or red patches on any part of your mouth or throat
- Numbness in parts (or all) of your mouth
Of course, there could always be some other causes for these symptoms—but having them checked by our team here at Lake Oconee Dentistry will provide the peace of mind you need in knowing the real causes of these symptoms.
It goes without saying (just like in sports) that the best offense is a great defense…That is, keep your regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so GREATLY increases the liklihood that problems will be detected early. Trust us… IT IS SO absolutely worth it.
Here at our Greensboro practice, as your lifelong oral health partner, we want to keep you and those you love as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have other questions about oral cancer or any symptoms above. And share this information on Facebook OR on Twitter with someone you know! Staying informed helps us all stay healthier.