We may not hear about oral cancer as often as other types of cancer, yet it’s actually responsible for one death every hour. Did you know that roughly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and only about half will be alive in the next five years? This is because oral cancer is often not found until it’s in its advanced stages where it’s moved into other areas of the body such as the lymph nodes. Your dentist in San Ramon can help patients achieve a better prognosis with early detection and consistent checkups.
Learn the Facts About Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the type that develops in your neck and head region, excluding any type having to do with the brain, which is a separate category. Because it often mimics conditions like canker sores, oral cancer can be difficult to detect on your own. Oral cancer also has a high rate of reoccurrence, which means that you’re more likely to develop it again if you’ve had it once.
Lifestyle choices such as tobacco use or heavy alcohol consumption can also increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Patients who smoke and regularly drink alcohol have a 15% higher risk of developing it. Your team at Oak Ridge Dental is happy to help with ideas and support if you’d like to quit smoking.
How You Can Prevent Oral Cancer
Be your own advocate at home and contact Dr. Rashpal Deol right away if you notice any of the following changes to your oral health:
- Pain when you swallow or talk
- Lumps in your neck or mouth
- Changes in the coloration of your soft tissues such as white patches
- Numbness in your face or mouth
- Any sore or lesion that doesn’t heal properly within 14 days
Dr. Deol screen patients for oral cancer at every dental checkup, and he can actually detect it much earlier than you can. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months. With early detection, you have a better chance of successfully treating oral cancer with the least invasive treatment.
Don’t Ignore Your Health
Your health is too important to ignore! If it’s time for your six-month cleaning and checkup, call your family dentist in San Ramon and get your appointment scheduled today.