3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
Call Us Today: (816) 252-0055

April 15, 2021

Oral Cancer and Regular Dental Checkups

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and that means it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Independence.

While regular dental appointments are crucial year round, April is the time to remind you and your friends and family about the dangers of oral cancer.

According to Dr. David Schaefer, regular comprehensive dental examinations with oral cancer screenings help prevent and detect oral cancer in the early stages.

Oral Cancer Statistics

Around the world, new cases of oral cancer exceed 640,000 every year with 54,000 of those cases diagnosed in the United States.

Oral cancer causes nearly 9,800 deaths every year or 1 person every sixty minutes every day. Of those diagnosed in America, only about 57 percent will be around in five years. That’s almost half.

Sadly, this number hasn’t gotten any better over the years. In fact, the survival rate for oral cancer from five years decades ago was 50 percent. That’s only a 7 percent improvement.

Why the Rate is Still High

While oral cancers are not difficult to diagnose, most aren’t discovered until they have spread and are in the later stages because there is no program in the United States to screen for early diagnosis.

Dentists are usually the first to notice if something doesn’t look right during an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screenings in Independence are conducted during a comprehensive dental examination.

Sadly, most oral cancers are discovered by doctors after they have metastasized, usually to the neck and lymph nodes.

Had those cancers been discovered early because of a lump, bump, red or white patch noticed by your Independence dentist they probably wouldn’t be as severe. If that isn’t bad enough, the primary lump or tumor has had the opportunity to invade your organs as well.

Identifying Oral Cancer

Any type of oral cancer is very dangerous, especially in the early stages as most symptoms go unnoticed. Oral cancers don’t need symptoms or pain to prosper.

Tongue, throat, cheek, lip, and other types of oral cancers also produce secondary tumors meaning patients who are lucky to survive the first time are 20 times as likely to develop cancer a second time within 5 to 10 years.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

  • Red or white patches in mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Halitosis
  • Tenderness or pain in lip or mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Changes in bite
  • Horsy voice
  • Hard to chew and swallow

An Oral Cancer Screening in Independence

If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, or haven’t seen your dentist in Independence in some time, call, send a text or a direct message, and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam and oral cancer screening with Dr. David Schaefer today.

July 15, 2017

An Oral Cancer Screening Can Save your Life

If you cannot remember the last time you had an oral cancer screening, it is time to call and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive dental examination with Dr. David Schaefer. Dr. Schaefer and his team will give you a complete and thorough dental checkup that will not only detect tooth decay and gum disease, but can also alert your attending physicians if there is anything unusual about your mouth, including your teeth, gums, neck, tongue, and throat.

When you schedule an appointment with Dr. Schaefer and his team for an oral cancer screening your tongue, throat, the roof of your mouths and your gums will be examined to check for anything unusual.

According to the American Dental Association, an astonishing 75 percent of all neck and head cancers start in the oral cavity. With early detection, you have a much better chance of survival.

Although there is no conclusive evidence, scientist believes that certain factors could increase your risk of any type of oral cancer. You may be in the high-risk category if you:

  • Use any type of tobacco including pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco cigarettes and a Hookah pipe
  • A heavy alcohol drinker
  • Have been diagnosed with oral cancer in the past
  • A history of sun exposure, which increases lip cancer risk

Signs that you may have Oral Cancer include:

  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Sores that bleed
  • Lumps or growths in your mouth
  • A lump or growth on your cheeks, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Loose teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Teeth pain
  • Jaw stiffness or pain
  • Pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat

Oral cancer can develop on your:

  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Cheeks
  • Roof of your mouth
  • Floor of your mouth

If you would like more information regarding an oral cancer screening, or would like to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening with Dr. David Schaefer and his team, call or click.

Early detection really can save your life. Call or click now.

3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055