ST. LOUIS, MO (March 28, 2016) – If you think only smokers or tobacco users are at risk of oral/neck cancer, think again. While it's true that those vices put one at a higher risk, everyone is at some level of risk and data now shows those with the human human papillomavirus (HPV) virus are also at high risk. Every hour of the day someone with oral cancer in the US will die from the disease. Regular oral and neck screenings, performed by a medical professional such as a dentist, should happen annually.
“If caught early, the survival rates for oral cancer are much higher and the treatments and costs are much lower,” Dr. Holly Ellis of Ellis Dental said. “Screenings for oral cancer are quick and painless. You should ask your dentist to do a screening annually. If not your dentist, then another medical professional should be able to offer the same screening. If not caught in time, oral cancer can be extremely painful and often deadly.”
At tops an oral screening takes two minutes and is painless. The medical professional checks for lumps or bumps along the neck, throat and cheek area. They then look all all sides of one's tongue, in the back of their throat and on their palate. If mouth X-rays are available, those are looked at as well.
“At Ellis Dental, we make the oral screening part of our patient's regular check ups,” Ellis said. “Every day in the U.S., 132 people are newly diagnosed. Oral cancer is extremely prevalent. The sooner we can catch it, obviously the better off that person will be. We're also able to offer guidance as to next steps if we do detect something.”
Early indicators* of oral cancer include:
- Red and/or white discolorations 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 of oral cancer include:
- A sensation that something is stuck in you 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
*Indicators and other facts from the Oral Cancer Foundation.
About Ellis Dental
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Holly Ellis, Ellis Dental is a state-of-the-art dental practice dedicated to providing more than 1,900 patients with comprehensive dental care that not only focuses on attaining their optimal oral health, but also incorporates their overall well being. Ellis Dental serves patients of all ages, customizing all dental care to each individual patients’ needs. Ellis Dental is committed to using only the highest quality dental materials, operating best-in-class equipment and incorporating leading-edge techniques into every patient’s visit to ensure the best possible outcomes. The practice is located at 10296 Big Bend Boulevard, 63122. More information is available at: ellisdental.com and Facebook.
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