Some people from Newmarket or Aurora, as elsewhere, may not be aware of it, but they could already be exhibiting signs of oral or mouth cancer, and with a rate of about 1,000 deaths annually nationwide, this condition isn’t one to be put aside. As with any other type of cancer, vigilance is the key to pre-empt this disease, and with the help of your Newmarket dentist, you should be able to find a way to combat it.
According to the Canadian Dental Association, here are a few of the common symptoms of oral cancer:
White or dark red patches in your mouth, or on your lips or tongue.
Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues.
Bleeding or numbness in the mouth; sores or patches that do not heal.
Difficulty swallowing; changes in taste or tongue sensation.
How important is early detection when it comes to combatting oral cancer? For one, studies show that when the cancer is still localized upon diagnosis, patients have an 83 percent chance of reaching or even going over the 5-year survival rate, whereas the rate is only at 32 percent for patients where the cancer has already spread to different parts of their bodies.
At the physician’s office, you will first be asked questions about your medical history to find any risk factors based on your lifestyle (some of these include smoking, alcoholism, and poor diet). Then, you will undergo a physical exam to for signs of oral cancer, such as bumps and other abnormal areas somewhere in your head, face, and neck.
A dentist like Dr Zofia Wojt can also look for signs of the cancer in your system—mostly, this can be done as part of a routine dental examination. However, dentists can also use additional procedures to come up with an accurate diagnosis, such as using dyes or special lights to be able to detect any of the clear signs more efficiently.
Dentists can also use a treatment called brush biopsy to help them make the analysis. Basically, a biopsy entails the surgical removal of tissue parts from the suspicious area for microscopic examination. Brush cytology or biopsy is a non-invasive procedure that could aid in accurate diagnosis of oral cancer.
Never take a risk on cancer. If you think you may be suffering from the signs of oral cancer, call up your local dentist from Newmarket as soon as possible and get yourself screened.
(Source: Gingivitis and Periodontitis - Patient, University of Toronto)