Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to Screen for Throat Cancer

Every year, over 40 000 people are diagnosed with Oral Cancer in North America.

Screening For Throat Cancer

Not many more than half of those people will survive longer than five years after being diagnosed.

Despite decades of research, these numbers have scarcely improved over the years. Fortunately, like most types of cancer, the earlier you realize there’s a problem, the better your chances are of getting successful treatment and surviving.

The death rate associated with this cancer is only as high as it is because it is typically discovered very late in its development after it’s no longer possible to treat.

This is why it’s of utmost importance that you perform oral cancer screening regularly.

Not sure where to get started? Omni is here to help.
Understand Your Risk
      If you already know you’re more susceptible to oral cancer, you can screen yourself more often. 
    Historically, more men are diagnosed than women. Other major risks include a history of using cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products (including nicotine gum), age (most people are around 40 years-old when they’re diagnosed), or a previous diagnosis of HPV.

Go to the Dentist Regularly
    Most dentists will screen for different types of oral and throat cancers as a part of their routine check-up process. If you think you’re a high risk, let your dentist know so they can give you an even thorough inspection.
    To be safe, try to schedule a thorough dental examination at least once a year. This way any suspicious issues won’t have time to develop past the point of no return.

Self Inspection
    It can be hard to examine the inside of your own mouth, but it’s important that you at least make yourself aware of potential warning signs.
Use a flashlight and a small mirror to check yourself for suspicious signs of oral cancer. Some of these signs include but are not limited to:
  • Ulcers or open wounds in the mouth that won’t heal, even if they aren’t painful. These are the most common indicators of oral cancer.
  • White and/or red patches. These are called leukoplakia and erythroplakia, and are a sign of a fungal infection. Even though they aren’t cancer, they can quickly evolve into it if left untreated.
  • Difficulty swallowing. A sore throat can easily be dismissed as a cold or flu symptom, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re experiencing a chronic or recurring sore throat that doesn’t come along with any other symptoms and won’t respond to antibiotics, it could be a sign of throat cancer.

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