This post from The Richardson Dentist is about oral cancer awareness.
When it comes to oral cancer statistics, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%. 40% of those who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. For those who are diagnosed early, however, the survival rate is 90%.
Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat
Cancers that originate in the mouth (or oral cavity) are termed oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue underneath the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue. “Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you might ask. Because the back third of the tongue is considered part of the throat. Throat cancers, or oropharyngeal cancers, start in the oropharynx, the part of the mouth behind the parts considered part of the oral cavity. The oropharynx is comprised of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.
How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?
Some oral cancers generate symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are discovered by dentists and doctors during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more individuals received regular screenings.
A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially as compared to other cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, the patient is referred to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.
At The Richardson Dentist, we perform oral cancer screenings as part of every checkup. That’s just another important reason to see us every six months. We also offer a full range of cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule an appointment today.
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