Oral cancer continues to be a growing health concern worldwide, largely due to an increase in the prevalence of the HPV-16 virus and improved diagnostics for identifying patients. Tobacco use also continues to be a factor in the increasing number of newly diagnosed cases. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that approximately 132 people will be diagnosed with a head or neck cancer each day this year– and the numbers have been climbing in recent years.
Oral cancer is almost always highly treatable when caught early– this is the key to a good prognosis and where your dentist can play a very important role in your overall health care. At our Gouverneur dentist office, Dr. Gardner performs an oral cancer screening during every dental exam, looking for the early warning signs of oral cancer. This exam includes:
- Visual exam of the eyes, neck, ears, lips and crown of head
- Palpate under the chin and along the neck for inflamed or swollen lymph nodes
- Visual exam of the tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate and inside the cheeks
When you visit with us twice a year, it enables us to closely monitor all aspects of your oral health as well as areas of concern that may require further diagnosis with a specialist or your general practitioner. Routine dental care could be life saving if an oral cancer is detected and treated early on. The survival rate drops significantly for late stage diagnosis hovering around 50%.
Dr. Gardner is committed to helping patients with oral cancer find the best care and restore a functional smile. There are many restorative treatment options available today that can address many of the effects of treatment, giving you back a smile that boosts your confidence and your quality of life after oral cancer treatment.