Each year, people in Fort Worth are among the roughly 42,000 new oral cancer diagnoses nationwide, according to data from the American Dental Association. Once someone receives this diagnosis, their 5-year survival rate is just over 64 percent.
Early diagnosis is the surest way to battle oral cancer. That’s why each patient who sees Dr. Sheri Audu at Museum Smiles receives an oral cancer screening.
Oral Cancer: An Often Silent Enemy
Oral cancer may involve a part or the entirety of the mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums and tongue, along with the floor and roof of your mouth.
There are two dominant causes behind this potentially devastating disease:
- Smoking and other forms of tobacco use
- Alcohol abuse
In some rare cases, oral cancer may also be caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Regardless of causality, regular oral cancer screenings are your best chance for outliving this possibly fatal disease, which takes the lives of roughly 9,000 Americans each year. Even oral cancer patients whose lives are spared may experience disfigurement as a result of their treatment or the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
There are several common symptoms associated with oral cancer. These may include:
- A sore or irritation that doesn't go away
- Red or white patches of skin inside the mouth
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Without proper and regular oral cancer screenings, it’s possible you may be harboring this disease without even knowing it. A person may experience few if any symptoms or pain even though their cancer cells are multiplying and may be contributing to the growth of oral tumors.
Anyone who has previously received an oral cancer diagnosis and then battled the disease into remission still has a high likelihood that the cancer will reoccur, particularly within the first decade after their initial diagnosis.
Committed to Your Health and Well-Being
When you need a Fort Worth dentist who understands the importance of providing complimentary oral cancer screenings to each and every patient, please contact the downtown offices of Museum Smiles online or by calling 817-870-5099 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Audu. Our Fort Worth dentist is a Texas native who is steadfastly committed to regular oral cancer screenings as a way of safeguarding the health and wellness of her patients.