April is Oral Cancer Month
It is expected that 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year in America and of those 53,000, little more than half will be alive in five years. This means that one person will die from oral cancer every hour of every day according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
The good news is that screening for oral cancer is an easy, non-invasive procedure that can detect early signs of cancer. At Gates Family Dentistry, we start with the key component: a risk factor evaluation and conversation. A palpation of lymph nodes and glands along the head and neck region is next. There are important glands, lymph nodes and muscles we are palpating for abnormal density and sensitivity. We finish up this exam with an evaluation of lips, cheeks, tongue and all tissues in the oral cavity and into the back of the throat both visual and palpating when appropriate. Early detection is vital; survival rates increase when cancer is found early.
Most people know that tobacco use can lead to an increased likelihood of oral cancer, but lately, research shows the HPV16 virus is also increasing risk. For children 9-12 years old, you may want to consider discussing the HPV vaccination with their pediatrician.
At Gates Family Dentistry we provide an oral cancer screening with every exam. Together, we can make a difference with your beautiful smile and your long-term health. Call us today for an exam.
Gates Family Dentistry
29990 Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070