Oral cancer in Bloomfield Hills is a serious health threat to the well-being of our community. Successful treatment begins with early detection. The sooner your doctors know about the condition, the sooner they can begin therapy. This is why dentists across the country have proclaimed April National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Make an appointment to see your dentist today.
Your Dentist Can Help to Protect You from Oral Cancer
The biannual oral exam is the most basic service your dentist provides as part of a routine office visit. This is a thorough visual check of your teeth, gums, lips, tongue, mouth, palate, throat, and face. Its purpose is to catch any signs of health issues.
Potential warning signs include not only cavities but anything that looks unusual, including the white splotches and open sores that are characteristic of oral cancer.
Should your Bloomfield Hills dentist notice cause for concern, then he or she may remove a small skin sample for a biopsy. This is a special test conducted by a medical lab to detect the presence of cancer. The office will notify you right away of the test results.
A Wide Array of Treatment Options
Modern medicine has a variety of ways to treat oral cancer. Two of the latest innovations are targeted drug therapy and immunotherapy. Each is designed to attack the disease directly, while having minimum impact on the surrounding healthy tissue. There are also traditional approaches such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Since every case is unique, only a qualified medical professional can say which form of therapy is right for you. Your doctor will work with you to design the most effective approach possible.
What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk
Medical professionals have long known that certain factors are associated with higher rates of oral cancer. You can improve your odds of avoiding the disease by following a few basic tips like these:
- Avoid tobacco products: not only cigarettes but cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc. are extremely harmful. Your dentist or other healthcare professional can recommend new medication that can help you to kick the habit for good.
- Consume alcohol only in moderation (if at all): excessive alcohol consumption is another major risk factor for oral cancer. An occasional drink may be fine. But alcohol abuse can have devastating effects on your well-being.
- Use skin protection when outside: while the outdoors is a great place to enjoy exercise and recreation, spending too much time under the sun can increase your odds for oral cancer. Remember to use sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, and take frequent breaks in the shade.
Prevention and early detection are essential for managing your oral cancer risks. Follow the tips in this post and see your dentist as soon as possible for a screening and dental exam. The efforts you put forth today will pay off in terms of better health for tomorrow. We wish you and yours lots of happy smiles for all the days to come.
About the Author
Dr. David George Banda has been practicing dentistry since graduating from the University of Michigan dental school in 1986. He performs oral cancer screenings on a daily basis You can reach his office online or by calling (248) 338-3550.