We may not hear as much about oral cancer as other types, however there are some sobering statistics you should know. Did you know that nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year? And sadly, only around half of those folks will still be alive in the next five years. Oral cancer is responsible for one death every hour. Why are these numbers so dismal? Because oral cancer is often detected too late when it’s already moved into the lymph nodes. This is why oral cancer screenings with your dentist in Long Island City are so important!
The Facts About Oral Cancer
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and Dr. Ishwinder Saran, your family dentist in Long Island City, wants to help make his patients more aware of this deadly disease because with regular check-ups, it can actually be prevented.
Oral cancer is considered cancer that occurs in the neck and head region. This excludes the brain, which has its own category of cancer. It has a high rate of reoccurrence, which means that it’s likely you will get it again if you’ve had it before. Oral cancer can manifest in a number of ways, and symptoms to be aware of are:
- Sores or lesions that don’t heal within 14 days
- A mass or lump in your neck or mouth
- Pain when you swallow, speak, or eat
- Numbness in your mouth or face
- A persistent ear ache
- Changes in the color of your soft tissue such as a white patch
What You Can Do at Home
Oral cancer can be challenging to detect on your own because many of these symptoms can disguise themselves as other issues like a canker sore. This is why routine check-ups are important because we screen for oral cancer every six months. You can also be your own advocate at home, and contact LIC Dental Associates if you notice any of the changes in your oral health listed above.
Your routine cleaning and check-up are truly your best defense against oral cancer. Dr. Saran can actually detect it much earlier than you can, and this gives you the opportunity to successfully treat it with less invasive procedures.
If it’s time to schedule your next preventive appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Your health is too important to ignore.