Prevention and Screenings Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer
At Risk for Mouth Disease? Find a Dentist That Can Help.
Reduce your risk of mouth disease with an oral cancer screening from Dr. Alhadef. Advances in technology can help detect it early!
Nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with oral cancer. It is one of the more aggressive forms of cancer, and only around 57% of people manage to successfully fight it. Because most terminal cases are diagnosed in their later stages, catching it early can significantly increase your chances of beating the disease. Incorporating proven prevention methods into your daily lifestyle can also help to reduce your overall risk of developing mouth or other cancers.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
One of the first steps you can take towards cancer prevention is understanding who is at risk and what can increase your chances of being diagnosed with the disease. The exact cause of oral cancer is ultimately unknown, but many harmful factors and lifestyle choices may increase your chances of developing the disease. Cigarettes, for example, are full of carcinogens that have been linked to oral cancer. And, not surprisingly, the Mouth Cancer Foundation reports that a whopping 90% of oral cancer patients are tobacco users. Adding alcohol into the mix is another risk factor—as is excessive alcohol use on its own. Reducing or eliminating your use of tobacco and alcohol is highly recommended if you want to reduce your risk of developing diseases like cancer.
Of course, there are other things—like viruses or biological factors—that may also contribute to your chances of developing mouth tumors or other diseases. For instance, patients who are 40 years of age and older are more often diagnosed with oral cancer. Additionally, medical professionals have also linked the HPV 16 virus to the disease, with around 70% of oropharyngeal (throat) cancers thought to be caused by it.
Your diet can also directly affect your health, as well as your body’s ability to fight-off infections and diseases such as cancer. Following a meal plan that includes regular fruit and vegetable intake can help lower your risk of future mouth complications, while also increasing your overall good health.
While no one thing can definitively be said to cause oral cancer, patients who recognize these risks can make necessary changes in their lifestyle or can avoid doing certain things altogether that might increase their chances of developing the disease.
How your dentist can help
Once you’ve taken the time to understand what can cause issues like dysplasia (the presence of abnormal cell types in tissue), the next step is to implement measures that can help you actively keep track of your oral health. Regular oral cancer screenings by Dr. Alhadef, for example, can help keep you informed. If something seems abnormal, he can detect it early and can conduct the proper testing to help determine whether it is a malignant cell or something else entirely. In any case, you’ll be able to catch any problems early and will be given the tools and education necessary to tackle them head-on.
Dr. Alhadef cares about more than just the state of your teeth. Every aspect of your oral health, including your gums, your tongue, and your throat (and any suspicious activity or lesions within them) will be brought to his attention during your routine dental examinations. At Dallas Cosmetic Dental, we use VELscope® technology to help us detect cancerous cells in the mouth. The screening technique is FDA-approved and uses a safe blue light to identify any potentially dangerous abnormalities—even those that are nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye.
About VELscope® and oral cancer detection
Advancements in medical technology have allowed us to progress more than ever before in the fields of dentistry and medicine. Today, handheld treatments exist that can help scan areas of the mouth to detect irregularities that may be cancerous. Thanks to fluorophores (natural tissue fluorides that respond to light), we can now view mucous membranes within the mouth—areas that were previously unable to be seen by the naked eye. No prolonged testing or dyes are necessary, but if a particular area reacts to the blue light, Dr. Alhadef can easily take a sample to have biopsied.
Schedule tour oral cancer screening today
Catching oral cancer in its early stages can help increase your chances of survival up to 80%. Don’t hesitate to visit Dr. Alhadef and the Dallas Cosmetic Dental team if you are overdue for a check-up or if you see something in your mouth that concerns you. Dr. Alhadef works with patients every day to carefully inspect their mouths for any irregularities, such as suspicious bumps, cuts, white or red spots, swelling, or discolorations. If something needs additional testing, he will keep you informed every step of the way.
Schedule a screening appointment with Dr. Alhadef today.