This month we recognize one of today’s growing health concerns- oral cancer. Unfortunately, thousands will be diagnosed this year with late stage oral cancer, which currently has a survival rate that that hovers around 50%.
Although there are several key factors that keep driving statistics in the wrong direction, lack of routine screening is one of the most important to discuss during Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Little or no access to dental health care can significantly increase the risk of a late stage diagnosis as there are typically few noticeable symptoms in the early stages.
Dentistry and Oral Cancer
You may not think of Dr. Lazer when assessing your oral cancer risk, but he can play an important role in reducing your chance of a late stage diagnosis- and a dramatically reduced survival rate. During routine preventive dental care, Baltimore dentist Dr. Lazer performs an oral cancer screening on all patients.
This quick and painless screening can be life saving! Visiting Dr. Lazer twice a year enhances his ability to spot abnormal tissue that could indicate possible cancerous growth as he becomes familiarized with your oral health.
These visits also provide the opportunity for patients to discuss their concerns and possible risk factors associated with both oral cancer and other dental concerns. Dr. Lazer can educate those with a family history or elevated risk due to certain lifestyle habits on the early warning signs of oral cancer.
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
Being aware of these symptoms is important for 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.
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!