California Dental Association Recommends Oral Cancer Screening

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Dentists can identify early signs of oral cancer.

Dental professionals can act as a first line of defense in the early detection of oral cancer.

As part of Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April, the California Dental Association is encouraging people to visit their dentist for an oral cancer screening.

“Dental professionals can act as a first line of defense in the early detection of oral cancer,” said CDA President-Elect Lindsey Robinson, DDS. “Oral cancer screenings are a routine part of dental examinations and can identify suspicious spots or sores that should be tested further.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. The two most common pathways by which most people develop oral cancer are through tobacco and alcohol use and through exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV) – the same virus responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women.

Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. When found early, oral cancers can have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate.

Oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth including the lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, and the hard or soft palate. Oral cancer often starts as a small white or red spot or sore somewhere in the mouth and often goes unnoticed until it has spread into another part of the body.

“Knowing the risk factors and seeing your dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings can help prevent this deadly disease,” said Robinson.

About the California Dental Association
The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA’s membership consists of more than 25,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit

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Alicia Malaby
California Dental Association
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