“There’s no symptom of oral cancer per se. It could be a lesion. It could be a trauma from a coffee burn or you biting into your cheek. It could be ill-fitting dentures, hoarsens of the throat or voice, [even] bad breath. As a result, it often gets overlooked or misdiagnosed. So, when they realize it’s cancer, more often than not, 2 out of 3 times, they’re catching it at a late stage, stage 3 or 4.”
Matthew Kim is the founder, chair, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. He has the right idea about oral cancer detection and works towards improving this standard of care. With so many symptoms of oral cancer being camouflaged as other dental issues, it’s important to have a dental professional like your North York dentist examining your oral structures at least every 6 months.
Avoid the Harsh Reality of Oral Cancer by Facing the Facts Now
Here are some hard-to-face facts about oral cancer that might make you think twice about skipping your next dental appointment:
- There are an estimated 49,670 oral cancer cases for the year of 2017.
- Just about 9,700 people are expected to die from oral cancer in 2017.
- When diagnosed in the late stages, patients face a 40% death rate.
Don’t fret! There is hope! Contrary to late detection, early detection has a survival rate of up to 90%! Recognizing the signs early on is critical to slowing down and even stopping the progression of the disease.
Good News: Oral Cancer Screenings Are Included in Every Dental Visit
There are a couple ways that our dental team helps to increase awareness and educate our local patients:
We Screen Patients Regularly
Since you should be visiting the dentist only 2 times a year, your dentist should screen for oral cancer every appointment. Has it been longer than 6 months since your last appointment? You may need to have your oral structures examined for any dangerous symptoms of oral cancer.
We Discuss Oral Cancer Risks
Many patients aren’t aware that their lifestyle is contributing to their high-risk dental status. During your visit, your dentist should stress the importance of keeping your dental appointments and eliminating tobacco and excessive alcohol use. By following these simple steps, you could dramatically decrease your chances of developing this debilitating disease.
A Symptom Has been Spotted! What now?
In the case that you do have a symptom of oral cancer brought to your attention during an appointment, there are two different tests that can be used to determine if your symptom is cancerous or not:
- A painless brush biopsy
- A scalpel biopsy may require local anesthesia for a suspicious looking area.
If you ever feel something abnormal or spot unusual changes in your mouth, feel free to reach out dentist before you’re googling “dentist near me” in excruciating pain. If your mouth feels normal, it’s still important to visit your dentist every 6 months for a complimentary oral cancer screening.
About Your Doctor
Dr. Eli Shem-Tov was actually a patient of North York Dental as a child and experienced so many positive dental experiences that he was inspired to follow a dentistry himself. After providing dental services for over 30 years, Dr. Shem-Tov is one of the best dentists in North York to detect symptoms of oral cancer. Need to reach him? Visit his website or give him a call at (437) 800-2672.