As with any disease or disorder, prevention, early care, and remedial action are all key to improving survival rates for diseases like cancer. In the instance of oral cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancers, you and your dental care provider have an advantage. That is the ability of your dental professional to examine the mouth and upper throat easily. With other cancers, examination and diagnosis are much more involved. But with early screening, patients have a much better chance of catching or preventing early oral cancer development.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
In most cases, oral cancer risk factors are easier to eliminate than treating the disease itself. If you are exposed to any of the following risk factors, you should be screened for oral cancer at least once every 12 months. The most common risk factors include but are not limited to:
- Tobacco Use: Tobacco is a risk factor for multiple disorders of the heart, lungs, as well as for cancers occurring at any point in the digestive tract.
- Alcohol Use: Alcohol is an irritant. It can inflame tissues it makes contact with, such as in the mouth and throat, and compromise liver and immune function.
- Combined Alcohol & Tobacco Use: Those who use these substances together can have as much as 100% increased risk of oral cancer.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Anyone who has tested positive for HPV and their sexual partners should be regularly screened for oral cancer.
- Age & Gender: Persons over 55 are the majority of those diagnosed with oral cancer. Regular checkups after age 50 are strongly recommended. Men are also twice as likely to develop the disease as women.
- Diet: A lack of nutritious food and excessive sugar are hallmarks of persons with a compromised immune function.
- Compromised Immunity: Poor immune function is a risk factor for all manner of disease, including oral cancer.
Screening Means Early Treatment
According to Cancer.org, the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is nearly 90% for those diagnosed and treated early. The cost of screening with the VELscope
is small and is easily affordable even without insurance.
Dental Oral Cancer Screening Services in Oakville
To learn more about the risk of oral cancer
and how you can minimize them, get in touch with the orthodontic experts at Sherwood Dental Oakville, ON. Call us at 844-951-8855.