We can help with oral cancer prevention in Santa Clara. If you are unfamiliar with this disease, there are many facts that you need to know. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation:
- 45,750 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year
- It kills up to one person, per hour, every day of the year
- The risk of death from oral cancer is higher than if you were diagnosed with cervical cancer or laryngeal cancer
- The age of those being diagnosed is decreasing, making this no longer an “older people” disease
- The HPV virus is a leading cause of this type of cancer, so if you have been diagnosed with it, oral cancer screenings become critical
When it comes to oral cancer prevention in Santa Clara, there are some common misconceptions. Many people believe that they can only get oral cancer if they are a regular smoker. If that were the case, then it would be much easier to prevent the disease. However, it is not, and there is a variety of risk factors that can contribute to oral cancer.
The two biggest risk factors are using chewing tobacco or smokeless tobacco products and having the HPV 16 virus. The first risk factor is something that you can eliminate by choosing not to use tobacco products of any kind; this is the best possibility for your overall health. It will not only decrease your risk of getting oral cancer but also increase your overall health. As for the second risk factor from the HPV virus, it is important to speak with your MD to find out about the best prevention methods and what to do if someone has it. There are vaccines and prevention techniques available for the HPV 16 virus.
The way that we can help with oral cancer prevention in Santa Clara is to help you to detect the disease at an early stage. Perhaps the most frightening statistic related to oral cancer is that only 57 percent of those diagnosed are alive five years later. The high death rate is incredibly alarming, and it is often because cancer goes undetected for so long that by the time treatment begins, it has already spread to other areas of the body. In fact, that is how many people catch it. Once cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or the neck, it becomes more obvious and alerts people that they need to see a physician. Since it is impossible to have a clear view of what is happening inside of the mouth, most people are unaware that they have cancer developing.
We can conduct an oral cancer screening when you come in for your annual or bi-annual teeth cleanings. We will look for any obvious signs like rough patches, red and white bumps, lumps, or anything that would indicate abnormal tissue or cell growth. If we see anything concerning, we may recommend that the area is biopsied to test for cancerous cells and that you visit an oncologist. Early detection will give you the best chance of beating the disease.
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