This message from Michelsen Dentistry in Orange CA is about oral cancer.
When it comes to oral cancer statistics, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.
40% of people who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat
Cancers that start in the mouth (or oral cavity) are called oral cancers. The oral cavity consists of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue beneath 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.
It’s a good question. The answer is that 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 composed of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.
How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?
Some oral cancers cause symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are caught 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 Michelsen Dental in Orange CA, an oral cancer screening is part of every checkup. That’s yet another reason to see us every six months! Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.
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