Oral cancer is often overlooked and under-discussed, but in recent years, more and more people are becoming aware of its genuine danger. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and raising awareness of this deadly disease and the steps you can take to protect yourself is essential. At Genesis Dental, we know the importance of oral cancer awareness and the impact early detection can have on a patient’s overall health. We have locations in Magna, South Jordan, Orem, Provo, and Tooele, Utah, and we are dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care to our patients.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that can affect the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat. While it can affect any part of the mouth, it is most commonly found in the tongue and the floor of the mouth. It is one of the most frequently diagnosed forms of cancer and is estimated to cause more than 8,000 deaths each year.
What are the Risk Factors?
Although there is no single cause of oral cancer, several risk factors can increase your likelihood of developing the disease. These include smoking and tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, a weakened immune system, and exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
At Genesis Dental, we want to ensure that our patients know the risk factors for oral cancer and the importance of early detection. We recommend scheduling regular dental exams to check for any suspicious areas that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. These exams also allow us to discuss your lifestyle habits with you and make recommendations for changes that can reduce your risk of developing the disease.
When do We Recommend Oral Cancer Screenings?
We typically recommend an oral cancer screening for anyone over 18. This is because oral cancer is more common in adults than in children. People who smoke, drink alcohol, or are exposed to the sun for long periods are also more likely to develop oral cancer, so they must get an oral cancer screening. Additionally, people with a family history of oral cancer should be screened regularly to check for any signs of the disease.
Finally, we may also recommend an oral cancer screening if we notice any suspicious changes in your mouth during a regular checkup. These changes may include white or red patches, lumps or bumps, or sores that don’t heal within two weeks. If any of these signs are present, we may suggest an oral cancer screening to rule out the possibility of cancer.
We will examine your mouth, throat, and neck during an oral cancer exam for any abnormalities. This exam includes checking for lumps, sores, or discoloration. We recommend further testing, such as a biopsy, if we find any suspicious areas. We may also use a magnifying glass to get a closer look at any areas of concern.
Is Oral Cancer Curable?
When diagnosed early, oral cancer is highly curable. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery may include removing part or all of the affected area, depending on the size and location of the tumor. We use radiation therapy to kill cancer cells, while chemotherapy is used to stop the growth and spread of cancer.
In some cases, oral cancer can be challenging to treat. Cancer may be more difficult to completely cure when it has spread to other parts of the body. However, treatment can still help to prolong life and reduce the symptoms of the disease.
Overall, oral cancer is curable with early diagnosis and treatment. It is vital to get regular checkups, as these can help to detect any changes in the mouth and throat that may indicate the presence of cancer cells. It is also essential to practice good oral hygiene, as this can help to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.
Top Dental Care in Magna, South Jordan, Orem, Provo, and Tooele, Utah
Genesis Dental in Magna, South Jordan, Orem, Provo, and Tooele, Utah, is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality dental care. We are dedicated to ensuring our patients know the risk factors for oral cancer and the importance of early detection. During Oral Cancer Awareness Month and every month, we encourage our patients to take the necessary steps to protect their oral health and reduce their risk of developing this deadly disease.
We are your go-to dental office for family, cosmetic, emergency dentistry, and more. Contact us today to get started on your dental health!