Dr. Edward J. Dooley routinely screens all his patients for oral cancer–a common and deadly cancer affecting the lips, tongue, hard palate and soft tissues at the back of the throat. Detected early, oral cancer is highly treatable and curable. The team at Doooley Dental in Spring Lake wants you to know the facts about oral cancer. After all, it’s what you don’t know that can hurt you.
Oral cancer facts
Fact #1 Oral cancer can strike anyone. However, some people seem more prone to the diagnosis, including men between the ages of 40 and 60. While in the past, women diagnosed with oral cancer were far fewer, the number of women with oral cancer has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Men with oral cancer used to outnumber women by 6 to one. Currently, it is 2 to one.
Fact #2 Oral cancer carries several risk factors, including smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol abuse and too much sun exposure. People exposed to the Human Pappiloma Virus, or HPV, run an increased risk for oral cancer. HPV has strong links to cervical cancer. Some people, about 7 percent according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, get oral cancer without having any of the risk factors.
Fact #3 The 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is about 45 percent. This is true because so many oral cancers are detected at a late stage of development. If caught very early, survival rates range from 80 to 90 percent. That’s why Dr. Dooley strongly emphasizes semi-annual oral cancer screenings. In fact, he uses the innovative VELscope visualization tool as a great adjunct to simple inspection of the mouth. The VELscope examination is fast and painless, illuminating areas of concern better than the naked eye.
Fact #4 Many research studies indicate nutrition plays a role in developing oral cancer. In general, a diet high in fruits and vegetables seems to reduce the risk, and conversely, a diet low in vegetables and fruits appears to increase the risk of Spring Lake oral cancer.
Fact #5 Beware of sores and spots that don’t heal. If you detect any lumps, swellings, red or white patches or sores that do not heal in your mouth within 14 days, see your primary care physician or Dr. Dooley right away. Hoarseness, a persistent sore throat or earache on one side, pain or trouble swallowing may be indicators of cancer, too. So, seek medical advice if you encounter any of these signs or symptoms.
Should you be concerned about Wall Township oral cancer?
The answer is yes, if you don’t get routine screening with your family dentist. However, if you and your family do receive semi-annual screenings with Dr. Edward Dooley, you can rest assured your oral health is being well-monitored and protected.
If you have questions about oral cancer, or if it’s time for your semi-annual check-up,