Screening for oral cancer

Screening for oral cancer

Did you know, that close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Of these 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years (Approximately 57%). That is 1 person per hour, 24 hours a day.

Facts about oral cancer you need to know:

  • Oral cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer worldwide
  • A quarter of all oral cancer cases occur in men and women with no known risk behaviors.
  • According to American Cancer Society data, nearly as many women will be diagnosed with oral cancer as with cervical cancer this year.
  • The key to reducing the impact of this disease is early detection.

Symptoms of oral cancer:

Oral cancer can appear anywhere in the oral cavity. Commonly it is found on the lips, on and under the tongue, the roof of the mouth, back of the throat (tonsil area) and on the inside of the cheek. The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that does not heal. Other symptoms include:

  • A lump in the mouth or throat or on the lip
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or the lining of the mouth
  • Bleeding,pain, or numbness in the mouth
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • A change (hoarseness) in the voice
  • Pain in the ear.

Oral cancer Risk Factors:

  • age – all adults
  • gender – more men than women develop oral cancer
  • smoking – particularly if combined with heavy alcohol consumption
  • chewing tobacco or using snuff
  • heavy alcohol consumption – particularly if combined with smoking
  • excessive sun exposure to the lips.

Blodgett Dental Care offers  VELscope oral cancer detection, a technology which aids in finding oral cancer long before it could be detected with the naked eye.  Our belief in its importance is so strong that we offer this screening at no charge to all patients in our practice.  If avoiding oral cancer is important to you, make sure you call us 503.285.3620 we can a VELscope screening for you. 


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