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Posts for tag: Oral Cancer

SteelyDanFoundersDeathHighlightsImportanceofEarlyCancerDetection

Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.

As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.

Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.

Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.

Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome.┬áIf you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”

By Stiles Family Dentistry
May 04, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Cancer  

When it comes to cancer, early detection and treatment can save lives. Oral cancer screenings, which can occur right at your dentist's oral canceroffice during a routine examination, can detect oral cancer in its earliest stages, ensuring a prompt treatment and swift recovery time. However, many people have never even heard of this powerful diagnostic tool. Find out more about oral cancer screenings and how they can save your smile with Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo, and Dr. Paul Masterson at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH.

What is an oral cancer screening? 
An oral cancer screening is a simple procedure which normally takes place during a routine examination. Your dentist thoroughly examines the oral tissues for any signs of abnormalities, including white or red patches of tissue, unusual sores, lumps, or swollen areas. Your dentist may also use a special light or dye to further investigate your mouth for oral cancer. In any circumstances, this screening is an important part of the fight against oral cancer and helps you and your dentist find and treat this condition in its most treatable stages.

Am I at risk for oral cancer?
Though oral cancer mainly affects individuals over the age of 40, it can occur in anyone. Age, however, is not the only risk factor. Those who use tobacco are at a high risk of oral cancers, especially if they use smokeless tobacco. Those who have long-term exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays or who have a family history of cancer may also be at risk for this disease. Your dentist can assess your risk for oral cancer and help you determine how often you should receive oral cancer screenings.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Salem, NH
No matter your risk, the American Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist every six months for regular examinations and professional cleanings. Your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening during this visit to kill two birds with one stone.

For more information on oral cancer screenings, please contact Dr. Papapetros, Dr. Giraldo, and Dr. Masterson at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH. Call (603) 893-4538 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!