NIXA, MISSOURI – April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to share recent research about a cause of oral cancer, in addition to offering complimentary oral cancer screenings at our Nixa cosmetic dentistry practice.
The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures research says that approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. will find out they have oral cancer this year. That means doctors diagnose more than 100 new cases of oral cancer each day, and one person every hour of every day dies from oral cancer.
“Oral cancer screenings are quick, painless and easy. Oral cancer can often be found early in its development with regular screenings,” says Dr. Marc Barnett, a Nixa cosmetic dentist at Barnett-Davis.
What increases the risk factor?
One known factor that increases the risk of developing oral cancer is tobacco and alcohol use. Recent research indicates exposure to the human papilloma virus 16 and 18 might also be a precursor of oral cancer.
HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the same types of the virus that are responsible for 95 percent of cervical cancers in women, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Because of the link to this virus, the fastest growing population of people diagnosed with oral cancer is young, non-tobacco users who are otherwise in good health. Do not assume, falsely, that oral cancer could never affect you.
Who should get screened?
Every adult, and anyone who is sexually active, should be screened. It’s easiest to incorporate the screening into annual health check-ups, or have one done during a routine dental appointment. Males and females can contract the papilloma virus.
“The most effective way to catch oral cancer early is through routine screenings. When oral cancer is diagnosed early, survival rates are higher and the side-effects of treatment are lower,” says Dr. Kelly Barnett, a Nixa implant dentist.
- Red and white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth
- Mouth sores that don’t heal within 14 days
- Hoarseness lasting a prolonged period of time
- Sensation that something is stuck in your throat
- Numbness in the oral region
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain, on one side only
- Persistent sore under a denture, even after adjustment
- Lump or thickening developing in the mouth or on the neck
“Early detection can save your life. Call a doctor immediately if you think you have indications of oral cancer,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, a Nixa dental expert.
Joining in the efforts of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the Barnett-Davis Dental Group is offering complimentary oral cancer screenings throughout April. You can call now to schedule an appointment at the Nixa dental clinic today.
More information about oral cancer is available at the Oral Cancer Foundationâ€™s official website at www.oralcancer.org.
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