Oral Cancer Screenings in Dallas
Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer on average. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although most oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, a solid 25% of cases occur in people who have no risk factors at all.
Looking for Oral Cancer Signs
Your dentist could very well be your number one soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Statistics show that in about 10% of patients, dentists notice a problem area even before the patient notices. During a regular dental checkup, Dr. Vanderbrook will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can 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.
Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups
Remember to schedule regular checkups for everyone in your family at Vanderbrook Family Dentistry. Two visits per year are recommended for general care. If, between visits, you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, call us immediately. Together, we can fight and win the battle against oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org .