April is oral cancer awareness month, and it’s also the perfect time to have someone check up on your oral health.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a term that encompasses cancer of the mouth, throat, and sinuses. These growths frequently go undetected for a long time, which allows for them to grow and spread to other parts of the body.
In many cases, this cancer is diagnosed too late. Once this cancer spreads, the five year survival rate is only 65%. Those who do survive the cancer often find themselves left with disfiguring scars from surgery, and they may have difficulty eating or drinking. The further the cancer spreads, the lower the survival rate becomes.
Who Gets Oral Cancer?
Most cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in men over the age of 50. However, everyone is capable of developing oral cancer, and everyone should get screened. Risk factors that increase your chance of developing oral cancer include:
- Smoking and vaping
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Poor diet
- Poor oral hygiene
- A family history of oral cancer
- Certain strains of HPV
- Poor use of sunscreen
How Can I Prevent Oral Cancer?
The best way to prevent oral cancer is to fix your habits. While family histories cannot be rewritten, you can cut risk factors out of your life. Stop smoking, practice healthy habits, and avoid excessive alcohol use.
In addition to these preventative measures, you’ll also want to consult with the experts in dentistry. Schedule a dentist appointment today! Your local dentist at Eckland Family Dentistry located in Woodinville, Redmond with Dr. Kale and Dr. Colby as well as Everett is trained to screen for the disease, and early detection is the key to survival. When the cancer is caught in its early stages, the five year survival rate is 85%, and surgical intervention is minimal.
A dental checkup is also a great chance to reevaluate your oral health. Ask your dentist about how you’re doing! We’ll be able to recommend products and methods to keep your teeth looking fresh for years to come!
Remember: screening is the best way to catch oral cancer early. The sooner it’s noticed, the easier it is to treat!