Oral Cancer – How Early Detection By Dentists Saves Lives
April is Daffodil Month here in Canada, a time when volunteers from the Canadian Cancer Society set out to raise money for cancer treatment and research while also increasing public awareness about this often-fatal disease.
While most of us know how important early detection is in the fight against cancers of the breast, prostate and colon, did you know that oral cancer can also be successfully treated – if it’s detected early enough?
Unfortunately, a lack of awareness about cancers of the mouth means that oral cancers have a higher mortality rate in Canada than both breast and prostate cancer – each year, about 4,300 Canadians are diagnosed with the disease, and more than 1,100 die from it.
According to the Canadian Dental Association, the 5-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with early-stage oral cancer is approximately 75%, while those whose cancer is detected late have less than a 20% chance of survival.
Even though these statistics seem grim, the good news is that your Waterdown dentist has the skills and tools needed to check for early signs and symptoms of oral cancer – and early detection gives patients the best odds for beating oral cancer.
Common Signs & Symptoms
Oral cancer means any malignancy (cancerous cells or growths) that occur within the oral cavity; according to the Ontario Dental Association, this includes the tongue, gums, lips and the lining of the mouth.
Common symptoms of oral cancer such as pain in the mouth, bleeding gums and red and white spots on the tongue are often ignored by patients who blame their discomfort on cavities, dentures or poor oral hygiene. While smoking, using chewing tobacco and a prior history of cancer increases the risk of developing oral cancer, this type of cancer can strike anyone, at any age.
How Your Waterdown Dentist Checks For Oral Cancer
Here at Waterdown Smiles Dentistry, our team of dentists and dental hygienists are dedicated to saving lives through early detection of oral cancer during every single dental check-up we perform. We’re working hard to make oral cancer deaths in Canada a thing of the past.
We use a combination of specialised training, dental exam tools and clinical experience to screen of our patients for the warning signs of both cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. If we spot an area of concern, we can perform a simple, painless ‘brush test’ to collect cells for further examination in the laboratory.
Schedule Your Oral Health Check-Up Today
To book your dental health and oral cancer screening check, call or email your dentist in Waterdown today. We offer evening and weekend appointments, and we’re located just off the 403 near Burlington, with easy access from Dundas, Hamilton and Milton.
Remember that your dentist in Waterdown does more than just give you a healthy smile – we’re your health-care partner in the fight against oral cancer.