Dentists can identify early signs of oral cancer. Regular dental checkups, which include an oral cancer screening, are essential in the detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
Sacramento, Calif. (PRWEB) April 18, 2013
As part of Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April, the California Dental Association is recommending regular dental checkups for an oral cancer screening. Dental professionals can act as a first line of defense in the early detection of oral cancer.
“Oral cancer often goes unnoticed until it has spread to another part of the body,” said CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS. “Dentists can identify early signs of oral cancer. Regular dental checkups, which include an oral cancer screening, are essential in the detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.”
Oral cancer can present in a number of areas in the oral cavity 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 or on the lips and, when found early, the Oral Cancer Foundation says oral cancers can have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate.
According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year and most will be caused by tobacco use. Three out of four people with oral cancer have used tobacco, alcohol or both.
While tobacco and alcohol use are known risk factors for oral cancer, a lesser-known risk factor includes exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV) – the same virus responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women.
If you notice any unusual spots anywhere in your mouth, contact your CDA member dentist immediately for an exam. Remember, early detection is the best strategy for survival.
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 cda.org.
# # #