Get Screened for Oral Cancer
Posted: September 15, 2005
Oral cancer screenings for Randolph residents age 18 and older will be held on Thursday, October 6th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Dr. M. Stenvall, DMD and the health department team will provide a painless analysis and personalized counseling.
The screenings will be held at the municipal building located at 502 Millbrook Avenue. Please call the health department to register for an appointment at 973.989.7050. The fee is $10.00.
Oral cancer is the largest category of those cancers which fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include such things as mouth cancer, tongue cancer and throat cancer. Oral and pharyngeal cancers represent a serious problem. Each year in the U.S., approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer. If you add the subcategory of laryngeal cancers, the rates of occurrence (about 10,000 additional new cases per year) and death are significantly higher.
However, when found early, oral cancers have an 80 - 90% cure rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority are found as latter stage cancers, accounting for the very high death rate.
You are at risk for developing oral cancer if:
- You use tobacco products
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- Exposed to sunlight on a regular basis
- Have habits such as lip biting and cheek chewing
- Have ill-fitting dentures
Some early warning signs of oral cancer are:
- Any sore on the face, neck or mouth that does not heal within two weeks
- Swellings, lumps or bumps on the lips, gums or other area’s inside the mouth
- White, red, or dark patches in the mouth
- Repeated bleeding of the mouth
- Numbness, loss of feeling or pain in any area of the face, mouth or neck
Age is frequently named as a risk factor for oral cancer, as most of the time it occurs in those over the age of 40. Tobacco use in all its forms is number one on the list of risk factors. At least 75% of those diagnosed are tobacco users. When you combine tobacco with heavy use of alcohol, your risk is significantly increased, as the two act synergistically. Those who both smoke and drink have a 15 times greater risk of developing oral cancer than others.
Learn more about the rates of occurrence, risk factors, treatments and current research.