Oral Cancer Screening in Yuma, AZ

Early Detection Is Key

Each year approximately 35,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. About 8,000 Americans die from the disease annually. When oral cancer is detected early by a professional dentist, the chances of complete recovery are highest. When it is detected in its precancerous stage, oral cancer can be prevented.

Oral Cancer Facts

  • Each year, oral cancer claims as many lives as skin cancer {melanoma} and more than cervical cancer
  • Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, tobacco chewing and drinking alcohol. However, a full 25% of cases have no risk factor at all.
  • Oral cancer is rising in women, those under age 40, and nonsmokers.
  • When detected in its later stages, oral cancer is a devastating disease. Late stage treatment usually involves major facial surgery with only 50% of patients surviving longer than five years.

What Are The Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer often begins as tiny, unnoticed white or red sores anywhere in the mouth. However, other signs of oral cancer include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change in the oral tissue
  • A lump or thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth, tongue or on the lips
  • Other symptoms can include a lump or mass which can be felt inside the mouth or neck; pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or chewing; any wart-like masses; hoarseness which lasts for a long time; or any numbness in the oral or facial region.

Eddie Van Halen had tongue cancer, thought to be the result of his heavy smoking and drinking. Former eyewitness news anchor, Diane Allen, suffers from tongue cancer. Sammy Davis, Jr. had throat cancer, Sigmund Freud, oral cancer, and more recently, Michael Douglas is battling throat cancer.

Regular Dental Appointments Are Critical

Oral cancer screening is part of your regularly scheduled hygiene appointment. During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Masillamoni will look for any spots, sores, or lesions. The good news is that Dr. Masillamoni can often detect precancerous tissue or the actual cancer while it is still very small, or in its earliest stages. It is important to have any sore or discolored area of your mouth, which does not heal within 14 days, examined by a professional.

Our team is committed to providing and promoting optimal oral health care. We believe increased awareness is critical for not only catching oral cancer as early as possible, but also for helping patients reduce the risk of oral cancer. To learn more about the benefits of regular visits to the dentist and oral cancer screenings, please call Dental Clinic of Yuma today.