More than 45,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Learn more about routine Cherry Hill oral cancer screenings from Barry Polansky DMD.
The Oral Cancer Foundation reports a staggering 45,000 American adults receive a diagnosis of oral cancer each year. Expanded to include cancers of the throat, the number rises to more than 54,000. Of this large number, approximately half will not survive this deadly disease beyond 5 years.
Why screen for oral cancer?
These numbers concern Cherry Hill dentist, Barry Polansky DMD, and other skilled practitioners across the country. That’s why they perform routine oral cancer screenings as part of semi-annual dental examinations and hygienic cleanings. If spotted at its earliest stages, oral cancer can be completely cured in 80 to 90 percent of patients.
The American Dental Association maintains that 60 percent of Americans see a dentist annually. These visits afford dentists great opportunities to examine patients for oral cancer and hopefully, cut morbidity, disfigurement and fatality statistics substantially. Dr. Polansky believes early detection is key.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Unfortunately, oral cancer may not be obvious to the patient who has it. That’s the primary reason why professional screening is vital. However, in general, a patient should be wary if:
- he has a sore spot or swelling that does not heal within 2 weeks
- he has problems swallowing
- his voice is hoarse in the absence of a cold or the flu
- he has a persistent earache one just one side
Who gets oral cancer?
Anyone can, but research shows these are pre-disposing factors:
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- exposure to HIV or HPV
- excessive alcohol use
- being male
- being over 40
While age and gender appear to play a role in developing oral cancer, statistics are changing. Oral cancer is on the rise in women and in young people in their twenties.
What does Cherry Hill oral cancer screening involve?
The oral cancer examination is very quick and painless. Dr. Polansky inspects the tongue, roof of the mouth, cheeks and gums for irregularities in color and shape. He also palpates, or feels, the lymph nodes of the neck and inspects the lips.
Additionally, Dr. Polansky uses a diagnostic tool called the VELscope. Velscope uses fluorescence to identify cancerous lesions not obvious to the naked eye. Use of this instrument potentially catches cancer even earlier than simple visual inspection. Dr. Polansky is a speaker for LED Dental, the manufacturer of VELscope instruments.
Have you had your routine dental exam?
There are many reasons not to postpone regular dental check-ups. One of them is oral cancer. Why not call Dr. Polansky’s staff today to make your appointment for a routine exam today? Your teeth, gums and overall health are too important to neglect.