Oral Cancer Protocols in the Dentistry OfficeAug 28 2014

oral cancer protocolOral cancer’s prevalence is growing at an alarming rate and roughly 40,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in the past year. Poor diet, increased sun exposure, old age, HPV, tobacco use, and alcohol use are all considered risks for oral cancer and unfortunately preventative measures for these risk factors is decreasing as well. Screening for oral cancer has increased, and should continue to increase, because of important protocol changes. More than 40% of patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer die within 5 years but early detection and prevention can help raise the possibility of remission. Identifi is a company that’s working to change the accessibility of effective cancer screening. Early detection can actually raise a patient’s chance of survival to 80% or even 90%. Dentists, periodontists, hygienists, oral surgeons, neck surgeons, and even primary care physicians can provide an oral inspection whether as a superficial or complete examination. Many signs of oral cancer can be seen on the surface as thick, irritated, or colored patches in the mouth. Further cases can result in difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue and jaw. Some patients feel pain in one or both ears but may not notice hearing loss and although these symptoms can be reported to an ear, nose, and throat doctor they should also be inspected as a possible symptom of oral cancer. These physical symptoms may be reported by the patient but a fast, effective examination by the dental hygienist can offer early diagnosis.

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