Don’t forget your mouth when checking for cancer

More than 100 new individuals are diagnosed with oral cancer each day.

In honour of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Lake Country dentists Dr. Lina Jung and Dr. Greg Kosar at Winfield Dental Centre are offering free oral cancer screenings on Thursday, April 25.

Oral cancer is not a rare disease. Approximately 4,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year. In North America, the disease kills one person every hour of every day, and over 100 new individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. The good news is that it can often be found early in its development, through a simple, painless, and quick screening.

Who should get screened?

Every adult. Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects are from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings you engage in such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages. Make them part of your annual health check-ups.

What are the risk factors?

There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the US, and the same one, which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population are young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to this virus.

Early Indicators:

• Red and/or white discolourations of the soft tissues of the mouth.

• Any sore which does not heal within 14 days.

• Hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time.

Advanced Indicators:

• A sensation that something is stuck in your throat.

• Numbness in the oral region.

• Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.

• Difficulty in swallowing.

• Ear pain which occurs on one side only.

• A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal.

•A lump or thickening which develops in the mouth or on the neck.

An oral cancer screening should be conducted every year, so take advantage of this free offer and get screened today. Call 250-766-1003 to make an appointment for your complimentary screening.

For more information about oral cancer, please log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at www.oralcancer.org.

 

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