According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. HPV has made oral cancer increasingly prominent in a younger demographic than ever seen before. During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Cappy Sinclair of Coastal Cosmetic Dentistry in Virginia Beach, VA encourages patients to get screened for oral cancer at least twice a year. Dr. Sinclair provides thorough oral cancer screenings during every routine dental check up for the health of his patients.
Early Detection Saves Lives
With early diagnosis through preventative oral cancer screenings, oral cancer has one of the highest rates of survival (88%). Due to a lack of commitment to preventative dental care, most people don’t realize they have the disease until advanced stages. Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Only about 1/3 of all oral cancer discoveries are caught early. When found late, oral cancer has a very low five-year survival rate.
Routine visits to the dentist are important for many reasons. Oral cancer can be treated and the screening only takes a short two minutes. The procedure is virtually painless and many patients do not even realize they are having it done. At each patient exam, Dr. Sinclair performs an oral cancer screening to check for the signs of oral cancer and abnormal cell formation.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
- Bleeding sores
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Numbness of the tongue
- Ear pain
- Hard spots in the mouth
While these symptoms may be signs of other oral health concerns, if they persist for up to 2 weeks, it is imperative to schedule a visit with Dr. Sinclair as soon as possible. Dr. Sinclair will thoroughly examine inside your mouth, the roof of your gums, the back of your throat, your tongue, the floor of your mouth, as well as the lymph nodes in your neck.