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Results of Free Oral Cancer Screenings

Posted on Apr 20, 2012, by Phillips & Schmitt, DDS, PA

Among the people who took advantage of the free oral cancer screenings offered by Phillips & Schmitt DDS on April 19, one person was referred to a specialist for a biopsy to a suspicious area on the tongue, highlighting the necessity to catch oral cancer early.

The screenings, which were part of April’s nationwide Oral Cancer Awareness Month, consisted of visual examinations with magnification. This catches some of the most common early signs of oral cancer, including mouth sores that won’t heal, white or red patches in the mouth, and lumps and swelling in the cheek or jaw.

“As with any cancer, early detection of oral cancer greatly improves the chances for survival,” said Dr. Douglas Phillips, DDS. “When caught early, oral cancer has a survival rate of up to 90 percent.

Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the mouth or larynx, with the diseases claiming more than 8,000 lives annually.

“However, the death rate with this cancer is particularly high because it’s usually not diagnosed until it has metastasized to another location, most often the lymph nodes,” he added. “That’s because in its early stages, oral cancer often produced little or no pain or other symptoms that would make the victim take note.”

Drs. Phillips and Schmitt offer the following tips for reducing your chances of oral cancer:

Stop smoking: According to a study by the University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, more than eight out of 10 oral cancer patients are smokers.
Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol abuse is the second leadingcause of oral cancer. The risk is greater for those who both drink and smoke.
Get vaccinated against the human papilloma virus version 16:In addition to causing cervical cancer in women, HPV-16 is responsible for the vast majority of HPV-related oral cancers in both men and women.

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Phillips & Schmitt, DDS, PA

1111 Hendersonville Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Phone: (828) 254-1944
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