Saturday, March 21, 2009

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Too many people do not see a dentist regularly. Many will not seek dental treatment unless they are in pain or until it becomes absolutely necessary. This is why many cancers are left undiagnosed until they are in advanced stages, making treatment more difficult.

Here are some facts that should make EVERYONE want to get a screening for oral cancer!
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco and heavy drinking are still the number one risk factors, so if you are among the many who do, consider stopping!
  • The HPV-16 virus is resposible for a large percentage of oral cancer diagnoses, and a high number of those are people who do not smoke and are relatively young; in their 30's and 40's.
  • Too often this disease is mistaken for simple canker sores or cold sores and is not caught until it has spread to other areas.

Here's the bottom line: Cancer treatment can be grueling, painful and costly. It can also be disfiguring. Prevention, on the other hand, is simple. So simple! This is a no-brainer, people! Get your screening!

Regular screenings for oral cancer should take place at least once a year. Talk to your dentist about doing a screening during your yearly exam. It could save your life. Here is a link to read more about the disease.

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