Richmond Dentist Discusses Oral Cancer

Sep 21st, 2012 | By | Category: Oral Cancer, Patient Education

Oral CancerOral cancer is a diverse malady, and can describe cancer of the mouth, the tongue, the tonsils, or the throat. Every year, approximately 40,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer, and nearly 8,000 people are lost to the disease. To help raise awareness of this silent epidemic, Richmond dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu explains what you should know about oral cancer.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Historically, the most common paths to oral cancer have been the use of tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Both of these products contain chemicals and ingredients that can alter the normal functions of cells and make your mouth more susceptible to illness. Another, newly discovered possibility for developing oral cancer is exposure to the HPV -16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16). HPV-16 is the same version of HPV that causes the majority of cervical cancers in women. About 7% of people may develop oral cancer for no apparent reason or identifiable cause. Experts believe this is likely due to a genetic predisposition.

Oral Cancer Awareness

Out of the 40,000 people who are newly-diagnosed with oral cancer every year, only 57% will still be alive five years later. The high death rate associated with this cancer is due to the fact that oral cancer is usually not discovered until well into its development. Oral cancer does not typically exhibit noticeable symptoms until it has advanced.

The Importance of Your Dental Checkup

Because the survival rate of oral cancer depends largely on early detection, your dental checkup, which you should attend at least once every six months, has a much greater importance than many people realize. Other than checking your teeth for cavities and your gums for disease, Dr. Moiceanu will also perform a thorough inspection of your entire oral cavity to spot any signs of abnormalities that may indicate oral cancer (i.e., lesions in the mouth).

To learn more about oral cancer, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Moiceanu at our Richmond, CA dentist office by calling 510-758-7222. Located in Richmond, we proudly serve families from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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