Facts about Oral Cancer
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 4700 Canadians were diagnosed with oral cancer and about 1250 passed away from it in 2017.
Symptoms may include:
Sores that won't heal
Pain when swallowing
A growth on the lips, tongue, cheek, etc
For a more detailed symptom list, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society symptoms page here.
Risk factors may include (but are not limited to):
low fruit and vegetable diet
infection from HPV
having poor oral health
too much sun exposure
For more risk factors, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society Website here.
While it can be absolutely devastating, when oral cancers are caught early, the chances of survival are much greater. With the advent of newer technology, we've also seen 5-year survival rates at about 60% more recently, compared to a much lower percentage of 25% in the 1940's.
But, you may be asking, what can you do about it?
Because we're all about preventative care and early detection, here are some considerations you may want to keep in mind:
If a risk factor applies to you, it might be time to change your habits. For example, use sunblock, quit smoking, increase your intake of fruits and veggies, improve your oral health, etc
At home, when taking the time to brush and floss, also do a self-screening each month. For instructions, please visit the Ontario Dental Hygienists' Association (ODHA) for a useful guide.
Stay regular with your routine hygiene and check up appointments at the dental office. Sometimes it takes the experienced eye to detect abnormalities. Because we take photographs, x-rays when needed and complete visit reports, we're paying attention to any changes in your oral health.
Request your Oral Cancer Screening at the dental office. According to Vizilite, at least 25% of the people diagnosed with oral cancer don't have the common risk factors of the disease, so don't be afraid to ask for one.
If we see anything suspicious, we may refer you to a specialist for a biopsy. At the very least, we can rule out cancer. Otherwise, you can get the recommended treatment(s) before the cancer spreads.
If you have a sore or in or around the mouth and it doesn't heal, you should see your dentist for further instructions.
Call our office today to book your Oral Cancer Screening - (416) 226-6688. We understand that oral cancer isn't fun to talk about but remember: early detection leads to better prognosis.
Photo from Freepik, Designed by Teksomolika