Prevent Oral Cancer – Get Screened Today
An estimated 206,200 new cases of cancer and 80,800 deaths from cancer are likely to occur in Canada in 2017 (The number of estimated new cases does not include non-melanoma skin cancer cases) according to the statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society. Oral cancer is now the 13th most common type of cancer in Canada.
It is estimated that in 2017:
- 4,700 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cavity cancer.
- 1,250 Canadians will die from oral cavity cancer
Considering these dire statistics, as a dental care provider, dentists at Langley Dentist Centre in Langley BC advises everyone in the family to go for yearly or half-yearly dental checkup. These routine checkups will help catch any abnormalities in its early stage making treatment easier, more effective and cure faster.
- The younger population who are sexually active, or have any of the typical risk factors has the fastest growing new cancer.
- Oral cancer can be sexually transmitted by the human papilloma virus – HPV – the fastest growing sexually transmitted infection.
- Oral cancer is 3 times more as compared to cervical cancer.
How can you reduce your RISK?
The risk factors mentioned below are all preventable. Modifying our lifestyle choices, can certainly reduce the risk for cancer:
- Eliminate use of tobacco products and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Avoid combination of tobacco and alcohol.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Avoid exposure of your lips to direct sunlight.
- Be wary of the HPV infection from multiple sexual partners.
- Get regular dental hygiene checkup including oral cancer screenings.
Signs of Oral Cancer include:
- Red or white patch in the mouth.
- A lump or thickened tissue in the mouth, neck or face.
- A mouth sore that does that easily bleeds or does not heal within two weeks.
- Any kind of numbness in the mouth or face.
- Persistent earache on one side.
- A persistent sore under a denture.
- Hoarse throat that lasts for a long period of time.
- Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
- Wart-like masses inside the mouth.
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer.
- Tobacco intake through cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff
Going for regular oral cancer screening is a preventive measure to catch any signs of abnormality in its early stage so that curing become easy. In case of any signs of cancer or precancerous condition, a physical examination would be done to confirm the condition. During a physical examination, the Dentist at Langley Dentist Centre may:
- Examine the head and neck to check the skin color, facial symmetry, speech and swallowing, breathing and hearing
- Examine the mouth
- Feel for lumps or swelling on the inside of the mouth, including the cheeks and lips
- Feel the floor of the mouth, tongue and roof of the mouth
- Assess tongue movements
- Feel the neck for a mass or enlarged lymph nodes
- Examine the salivary glands
- Check if the cancer has spread to the pharynx (the hollow tube in the upper part of the neck that starts behind the nose and mouth and leads to the esophagus and larynx)
- Perform a complete dental examination.
Diagnostic tests for oral cavity cancer are usually done if:
- Symptoms of oral cavity cancer are present
- An abnormality is observed during a routine oral or dental examination
- The dentist suspects oral cavity cancer after discussing about the health and completing a physical examination.
Additional tests may be advised to identify abnormal cells in your mouth. Special oral cancer screening tests may involve:
- Rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye that turn abnormal cells in your mouth blue, by taking up the dye.
- A Shining light in your mouth that makes healthy tissue appear dark and abnormal tissue appear white.
If your dentist discovers any signs of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, he or she may recommend:
1) A follow-up visit in a few weeks to see for any change in the abnormal area if it has grown or changed over time.
2) A biopsy procedure is done to collect some abnormal cells for laboratory testing to determine or confirm the presence of any cancerous cells. Accordingly you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Why Langley Dentist Centre in Langley BC?
At Langley Dentist Centre, dentists are concerned about their patient’s wellbeing, so they are more proactive. They go a step ahead to generally look for any abnormalities in the mouth during a regular screening visit or even when you visit the dentist for treatment of a particular dental problem.
The Langley dentists generally advise good oral hygiene tips, and preventive measures such as scheduling regular oral screening visits every six months, based on your lifestyle, general health and habits.
Langley Dentist Centre is very patient centric, so the dentists make themselves available on weekends and weekday evenings too. The staff are very patient-friendly and assist patients with insurance related formalities and assessment of the coverage for individual’s treatments.