Oral cancer affects approximately 36,500 people yearly, which accounts for about two percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States. According to recent statistics, of these 36,500 people, approximately 7,900 will die from the disease. The death rate is high due to late detection of the disease. Oral cancer generally metastasizes to the cervical lymph nodes in the neck.
This form of cancer occurs mostly on the tongue or lips, however, the lining of cheeks, gum tissue, and palate can also host cancerous lesions. Squamous cell carcinomas are the most common form of oral cancer.
Tobacco, alcohol, sun, and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are common risk factors of oral cancer. Tobacco accounts for most cases of oral cancer. People who heavily use tobacco products for numerous years are at increased oral cancer. Men are more likely then woman to develop oral cancer, and the risk increases after the age of 40.
During your routine dental exam, I will conduct an oral cancer screening. I’m Dr. James Stewart, a dentist in Livonia, MI, and I will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck and oral cavity. I will also check for sores or discolored tissues in your mouth.
Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, now is a good time to schedule your six-month dental checkup and cleaning. If you are a resident of Livonia, Novi, Farmington Hills, or surrounding areas, contact my Livonia dentist office at (743)425-4400 to schedule an appointment. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy life.