With Oral Cancer Cure Rate Just 57%, Early Detection is Crucial

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Over 8,000 Americans die of oral cancer every year. Drs. Aalam and Krivitsky, founders of West LA’s CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy, invite patients to observe Oral Cancer Awareness Month by getting a potentially lifesaving oral cancer screening.

Brentwood Periodontists

Dr. Alina Krivitsky & Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam

As with most cancers, early detection makes all the difference.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. The Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) has announced a national screening campaign to end oral cancer. At the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy, Brentwood periodontists Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam and Dr. Alina Krivitsky affirm that early detection and treatment increase oral cancer survival rates significantly. Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky offer oral cancer examinations in Brentwood for all patients.

“Over 43,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer every year,” said Dr. Aalam, “and only about half of those people will still be alive in 5 years. Oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages because patients will avoid seeing their dentist or periodontist even if their dental health is in terrible shape.”

According to the OCF, the death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of more publicized cancers such as cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, or skin cancer. The United States still lacks a comprehensive program to proactively screen for the disease, making late stage discovery all too common.

“By the time oral cancer is discovered, it has often metastasized to the lymph nodes of the neck. At this stage, the patient’s prognosis is much worse than if the cancer is discovered while still localized to the mouth,” said Dr. Krivitsky.

Drs. Aalam and Krivitsky recommend patients undergo a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening at least once yearly. The oral cancer exam is completely painless. If any suspicious lesions are discovered, the Brentwood periodontists perform a biopsy, sending a small piece of the lesion to a laboratory for microscopic analysis.

“Possible symptoms of oral cancer include red patches and sores, lumps, and lesions, but not all oral cancer patients will present visible symptoms,” said Dr. Aalam. “The HPV virus, which also contributes to cervical cancer, is also a leading cause of oral cancers.” Dr. Aalam also noted that smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also risk factors. “As with most cancers, early detection makes all the difference.”

Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam and Dr. Alina Krivitsky are board certified periodontists specializing in dental implants and gum and tissue diseases. They opened The CENTER, a periodontal office focused on providing patients with excellent and skilled care at affordable prices, with the goal of restoring oral health and aesthetic appearance. They are alumni of the prestigious Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC and are still heavily involved in academia and giving back to future periodontists at USC. They are also the only two board-certified periodontists in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.

If you or someone you know is interested in scheduling an appointment with the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy, we encourage you to contact (310)-826-8242 today.

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