Oral Cancer Rates Rising

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 3:37 pm

Oral cancer rates are rising in the United States, and throughout the world. In 1981, 10,000 people died from oral cancers in the US. In 2011, over 37,000 people developed oral cancers and about 8,000 died. These statistics suggest that the death rates from oral cancer are higher than those from melanoma, thyroid cancer and Hodgkins lymphoma.

Usually oral cancer stays under the radar unless a celebrity is diagnosed. One reason the death rate for oral cancers is so high is that most patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread. Oral cancers are usually painless and people are not able to scan themselves as they do for skin cancers or even self-checks for breast cancer.

Risk factors for oral cancers include a history of smoking, drinking alcohol and increasingly, infection with the HPV virus. There may also be a genetic predisposition for oral cancers. Diet can also play a role in moderating risk – research has shown that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help protect against oral cancers.

Regular screening for oral cancers is extremely important. Cure rates are much higher when the disease is discovered early. Regular routine dental examinations will provide you  peace of mind – when the dentist palpates the soft tissues of your mouth they are actually looking for signs of oral cancers, this goes along with a visual check for signs of disease. Cone beam CT scans can be used to diagnose tumors in the bone that cannot be seen on regular x-rays. Your dentist may suggest additional screening using special technology that can illuminate suspect lesions.

Schedule your appointment today by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.

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Category: Cone Beam CT Technology, oral health

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