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April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Posted on 12/23/2021 by Dr. VanBrunt
April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!Many people die of cancer of the mouth as well as cancer of the upper throat. Oral or oropharyngeal cancer, if detected early and you receive proper treatment, you increase your survival rate. Of the estimated 54,000 new oral cancer cases diagnosed, 43 percent don't survive for more than five years. Many of those who survive experience long-term problems like difficulties with speaking and eating or facial disfigurement. Raising awareness about oral cancer is important to help save lives and improve the health of people. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month when dental specialists join with surgeons as well as other medical professionals to talk about the dangers of oral cancer and the need to put more effort to fight the disease. 

Role of Dentists in Cancer Awareness

A dentist is a healthcare professional who often has the most access to your mouth. The regular visits you make to a dentist, coupled with other visits, allow the dentist to examine your mouth frequently. The specialist is able to identify signs of cancer and get you screened. Cancer screening is recommended for all individuals, especially those that are at risk of the disease. Many dentists open their offices to conduct free screening for oral cancer to the public during Oral Cancer Awareness Month. 

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

A number of factors can contribute to oral cancer and oropharyngeal cancer. Historically, people who drink heavily and smokers who are older than 50 are at higher risk of this form of cancer. However, today, oral cancer is even occurring more frequently among non-smoking people, particularly because of the human papillomavirus 16—about 99 percent of patients who develop HPV oral infection clear the virus through their immune system. However, about 1 percent of the people are unable to clear it because the immune system fails to adequately fight the virus. As a result, the virus remains dormant for many years before it potentially causes cancer. To get oral cancer exams and learn more about this disease, visit our dental office. 

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Our Dental Blog | Smiles of Tulsa - Dentist in Tulsa, OK
Corbyn VanBrunt, DDS has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Click here to learn more about home care, procedures and more!
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