April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Dr. Allen Sun of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. Allen Sun, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

April is International oral cancer awareness month and it’s our hope that all readers will be proactive and treat their mouths with the same diligent care as they do with the rest of their bodies when it comes to check ups, because oral cancer is extremely dangerous.

Fact is; oral cancer is not a rare occurrence – worldwide, new cases annually exceed 450,000, affecting more people than either cervical or melanoma (skin) cancer.

Early stage oral cancer is not easily detected by most people because it often causes no obvious warning symptoms or discomfort.

That’s why regular screenings are advisable for all adults because many people never detect oral cancer until it has spread into other nearby regions such as the larynx, esophagus, or lungs.

Dentist showing patient a clear oral cancer screening with Identifi.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

The principal pathways to oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol use, and exposure to  HPV (human papillomavirus- HPV 16) which is sexually transmitted.

Oral cancer (aka mouth cancer, tongue cancer and throat cancer) death rates are very high. Although survival rates are 80-90% when detected and treated early, many oral cancers are NOT detected until late stage and sadly someone dies as a result every hour of every day.

That’s why we believe adults should have a screening test semi-annually to protect their health.

Cancer screenings are routine in the medical setting for breast, cervical, prostate or skin cancers and we believe oral cancer screenings are a vital adjunct to regular semi-annual dental hygiene therapy and exams because EARLY DETECTION is key to the successful treatment of oral cancer.

“Oral cancer death rates are very high. However, survival rates are between 80-90% when detected and treated early.”

Sometimes oral cancer initially feels like a canker sore that doesn’t fade away. Similarly, you might notice a lump anywhere in your mouth, including your gums and lips. If you experience pain in your throat or ears frequently, or find that your voice suddenly changes, or you struggle with chronic bad breath, these symptoms could be the result of oral cancer.

Please note that not every abnormality might be cancerous, however we would urge you to see us as soon as possible for a hygiene exam and an IDENTAFI multi-spectral oral cancer screening.

These screenings have the ability to detect early stages of oral cancer before a lesion is visible to our eyes.

Now would be a good time to  call and schedule your semi-annual dental exam along with a comprehensive IDENTAFI screening.

If we find anything that appears to be precancerous, you can be referred to an oncologist for appropriate treatment before the disease advances to a more significant stage.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.