Did you know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month? It’s true. And unfortunately, most people are unaware that they have oral cancer at all. This is why it is so important to maintain a regular dental routine in order to ensure that you are continuing on a clean bill of health. And as you are well aware, your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early detection and discovery, so keeping your dental appointments is also an important part of dental health.
Oral cancer will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 53,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.
During an oral cancer screening, your dental professional will examine your mouth for red or white patches, and your throat and neck for any lumps that may be developing. Some may have a specific screening dye or laser to further examine your mouth.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at (951) 688-3442 or through the website.
Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.