April is oral cancer awareness month. Oral cancer is more common than you may think and numbers are on the rise. Thousands will be diagnosed this year with late stage oral cancer. Oral cancer often goes undiagnosed until the later stages which currently has a survival rate that of approximately 50%.
One of the leading factors that contribute to low diagnosis rates of oral cancer is a lack of routine screenings. Routine dental health exams are key in catching oral cancer early on. Dr. Ed Lazer screens all of his patients at every routine dental health exam.
A patient who has little or no access to dental health care can significantly increase the risk of a late stage diagnosis of oral cancer. Patients generally show few symptoms early on and oral cancer can go undetected as it progresses.
Oral Cancer Screening, Baltimore, MD
The oral cancer screening is quick and painless and can even be life-saving. Visiting Dr. Lazer at least twice a year allows him to spot abnormal tissue that could indicate possible cancerous growth.
There are higher rates of oral cancer in patients who use tobacco products, smoke or have a family history of oral cancer. Exposure to the HPV-16 virus has also become a major factor in the increasing number of cases worldwide today. HPV exposure has also increased the risk of oral cancer in younger patients.
If you experience any signs or symptoms of oral cancer, be sure to schedule a dental health exam right away.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Sore or red/white patch in the mouth that does not heal
- Persistent hoarseness
- Lump in the back of the mouth or neck area
- Difficulty swallowing
Visit your dentist! Routine dental care with Dr. Lazer in his Owings Mills dentist office not only helps to maintain your natural smile- it could save your life!