When it comes to oral cancer survival rates, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.
40% of those who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
Cancers that originate in the mouth (or oral cavity) are classified as oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue below the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue.
“Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you may 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 oral cavity. It consists of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.
How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?
Some oral cancers produce symptoms that prompt the patient to see a doctor. Others are found by dentists and doctors during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more people received regular screenings.
A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially when compared to other procedures like colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, we’ll refer you to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Tobacco use (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or snuff)
Weak immune system
Frequent exposure to UV light (a risk factor for cancers of the lips)
Be proactive. Ask The Carrollton Dentist to carry out an oral cancer screening every time you visit us. We also provide general and family dentistry, and TMD treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today.