April has been designated as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that oral cancer accounts for 85% of all head and neck cancers? And while nearly 10,000 people die every year because of it, many of those deaths are preventable. Early detection dramatically improves treatability, and oral cancer screenings enable early detection.
Oral cancer is so deadly not because it is hard to diagnose or treat, necessarily, but because it is often discovered late in its development. If it has metastasized to another area, prognosis is significantly worse. Besides spreading, the primary tumor has also had time to deepen into local tissues. You can see why early detection is so important.
But oral cancer can often develop for some time without manifesting symptoms. These can be easy to dismiss, so you might not think you really need to get screened. While some people, such as tobacco users, are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, all people should be regularly screened. At Drs. Timothy Ross & Susan Chmiel, we include oral cancer screenings with every routine dental exam. The screening includes a careful inspection of the entire oral cavity, as well as the throat, lips, neck, and face, for any signs of abnormalities.
Getting screened for oral cancer can save your life. To learn more about oral cancer, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation website, www.oralcancer.org. Please call Dr. Susan Chmiel to schedule your oral cancer screening in our Franklin, WI, office today.