April is oral cancer awareness month! Are you aware of the common symptoms of oral cancer?
Signs of oral cancer can include:
- Persistent hoarseness
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Lump in the throat or neck
- Persistent earache- often in both ears
- Numbness in or around the mouth
At Valley Dental Health in Hunt Valley, Dr. Rafat and Dr. Izadi screen their dental patients for the signs of oral cancer at routine preventive care visits. While many patients may not realize that they are receiving this screening, it is an important part of their dental health care – and it could save their life!
Oral cancer is one of the cancers that continues to rise both in the U.S. and world-wide. It is estimated that oral cancer causes 8,000 deaths per year- a statistic that can be dramatically reduced with the simple act of regular screenings such as those performed by Hunt Valley dentists Dr. Rafat and Dr. Izadi. Unfortunately, oral cancer is frequently diagnosed in the later stages when treatment is difficult and a cure is less likely: less than 50% of patients will be successfully treated with a late stage diagnosis.
One of the contributing factors to the rise of oral cancer is the parallel rise, especially in young adults, of the HPV virus. Along with tobacco use and smoking, the HPV virus is a major cause of oral cancer.
Preventive dental care is more important than ever- it provides Dr. Rafat and his associates the opportunity to spot developing health issues, such as oral cancer, in the early stages when treatment can be most effective. Regular visits with Valley Dental Health will not only help to support and maintain good oral health- they may save your life!
If you have been avoiding the dentist, now is the perfect time to schedule a routine exam and restore your oral health- and get screened!