Call Us Today! 613-230-7475

Your Dentist, Oral Cancer and Daffodils

April 04, 2011 | Posted in Education | Be the first one to comment

We have just turned the calendar into April. As we head into spring, many of us think of the promise of spring and all it has to offer. April is a great time to come out of our winter hibernation and get ready for a wonderful summer.

April also brings about Daffodil Days for the Canadian Cancer Society where fundraising and cancer awareness find an important meeting place. Cancer awareness is, increasingly, becoming an area of greater concern for all health care practitioners, including your dentist.

It is with this thought in mind that we believe April is an ideal time to raise awareness of oral cancer. Oral cancer does not receive the same amount of attention as other forms of cancer, perhaps due to the fact that it is not as prevalent.

However, with that lower awareness comes a greater danger. Compared to cancers such as breast or prostate cancer, oral cancer has a much higher mortality rate. It is estimated that 35,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Approximately half of them will not survive the next five years.

The reason for this is the lack of early detection. And early detection usually requires a visit to your dentist for a thorough examination. Simply visiting your doctor for a routine physical usually will not be sufficient. A complete oral cancer check will involve a visual examination of the entire mouth, both top and bottom, gently moving the tongue to the side to examine underneath and using fingers to search for lesions on the gums.

When was the last time anyone other than your dentist conducted such a thorough examination of your mouth?

This is the type of examination you should receive from your dentist at least every six months…perhaps more frequently if you are a smoker or otherwise at higher risk to develop oral cancer. The good news is that, like most other cancers, oral cancer is highly treatable when detected early.

Unfortunately, with at least one-third of North Americans failing to visit their dentist on a regular basis, early detection is what is missing for so many people. Since the mouth provides such an easy access to so many other areas of the body, it is easy for oral cancer to metastasize and spread. Once that occurs, treatment becomes more debilitating and, sadly, less likely to succeed.

So we urge you to use April to help in the fight against cancer. If a volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society offers you a daffodil, buy it! Consider it an investment in your health! And after you do so, call your dentist and schedule an appointment so that you can be screened for oral cancer.

Because early detection of oral cancer is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  George Parry

Dental Surgeon


Leave a Comment

Patient Education

Patient education library includes information on various topics ranging from dental care to oral health problems.

Access Patient Education Library »

Hours

Monday: 8AM - 8PM Tuesday: 8AM - 8PM Wednesday: 8AM - 8PM Thursday: 8AM - 8PM Friday: 8AM - 5PM Saturday: 8AM - 4PM