April Is National Oral Cancer Health Month

April 20, 2012

When was your last visit to the dentist? Please take a moment to watch this video explaining how an oral cancer screening with OralDNA could save your life.

It is important to consider the last time you were tested for oral cancer, and to help us be more mindful of this deadly disease, April is National Oral Cancer Health Month. During the month of April, dentists nationwide are encouraging patients to come in for an oral exam and cancer screening.

There are a wide variety of effective screening tools out there. At Dr. Salzberg-Siegel’s Clinton Township office, we screen patients with OralDNA. What OralDNA lets us do is screen patients for a variety of conditions, including periodontal disease, oral cancer, and even HPV.

Why HPV? Because oral cancer caused by HPV is on the rise. Identifying HPV in patients helps Dr. Salzberg-Siegel identify those who may be at increased risk so that a customized treatment plan can be made. The CDC has estimated that as many as 80% of patients may come into contact with at least one of the 120 different types of HPV, often without knowing about it.

Oral Cancer Facts and Statistics

Every year, oral cancer kills more people nationwide than cervical or skin cancer. What’s more, only half of all patients diagnosed will live more than five years after diagnosis. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, consistent sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting denture. However, 25% of oral cancers involve patients with no risk factors at all. That’s often where HPV factors in.

Signs of oral cancer include:

• A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
• A color change of the oral tissues.
• A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area.
• Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.

If you’ve never been screened for oral cancer or HPV, there’s no better time for a screening at Dr. Salzberg-Siegel’s office than National Oral Cancer Health Month. You can learn more about oral cancer from the Mayo Clinic and from OralDNA’s webpage. Also, be sure to Call us today.

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