According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, almost 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Unfortunately, in more than half of these cases oral cancer has already spread to other tissues or organs which significantly diminish the chances of the patient’s survival. About 1 in 4 patients with oral cancer die because of delayed diagnosis and treatment.
However, when oral cancer is detected and treated in its early stages, the chances of a complete recovery increase to up to 90%. But in many cases the typical early cancer signs and symptoms may go unnoticed and overlooked by the patient. That is what makes the professional oral cancer screening critically important.
During the oral cancer screening, Dr. Keselbrener will:
- Inquire about any discomfort, lumps, or sore spots in your mouth that are not healing
- Thoroughly examine your face, lips, and mouth tissues for signs of any abnormal changes, including red patches, hardened white and gray lesions and sore spots
- Palpate your face and neck for suspicious lumps
- Perform a biopsy of suspicious lesion, if necessary
Even though according to research conducted by the American Dental Association approximately 25% of oral cancer cases have no known cause, there are several common risk factors which can greatly contribute to the development of oral cancer, including:
- Smoking and other tobacco use (associated with 75% of oral cancer cases)
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Infection with Human Papillomavirus (statistically young adults are now at an increased risk)
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight without proper protection (associated with lip cancer)
- Poor oral hygiene
- Chronic irritation (from rough teeth edges, dentures, etc.)
Early detection of oral cancer can save a life!