Oral cancer remains one of the most fatal cancers in America. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral this year alone. Every April during Oral Cancer Awareness Month, our Annapolis, MD dentist office team takes the time to bring light to this disease. Dr. Scott Finlay and Dr. Ha Lim encourage all patients to visit the dentist twice a year for oral cancer screenings.
With proper oral health care, oral cancer can sometimes be easier to diagnose than other cancers. The problem is, many patients avoid visiting the dentist for fear of the dentist or financial reasons. Catching oral cancer in the earliest stages is essential for effective treatment. Early diagnosis, saves lives.
With more patients being diagnosed at younger ages, it is important that all patients get screened for the disease. The screening is painless and only takes a short two minutes. Your dentist will perform a visual screening of all oral tissue surfaces, your neck, and head. The screening is so simple that many patients do not even realize they are being screened.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Some patients have risk factors that may make them more prone to developing oral cancer.
- Tobacco use, both from cigarettes and chewing or spit tobacco,
- Alcohol consumption
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Ultra-violet light,
- Poor nutrition.
If you are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer be sure to self-check your mouth for any signs of developing cancer. If you notice the appearance of any red or white patches, sores, lumps, or other tissue changes, keep a note of them. If they do not heal within two weeks, be sure to contact our Annapolis dentist office. Dr. Finlay & Associates performs routine oral cancer screening, review your medical history and perform a blood pressure test during your regular biannual dental exams and are trained to see or feel the early stages of cancer.
If you have noticed changes in your mouth or are due for your next dental check-up, contact Scott Finlay and Associates, DDS at 443-276-4094 to make an appointment for a screening.