April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
By Mina Levi, DDS, 04/09/2015

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS wants to shine a light on it, promote awareness and save lives! Oral Cancer awareness in the American public is low. Approximately 45,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. 125 new people in the US every day will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person every hour of the day, 24/7/365 will die from it. While smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. We cannot stop this virus from spreading; our only hope to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. In this article, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS gives guidelines for how to check yourself for oral cancer and how/when to get screened at the dental office.

Oral Cancer San Francisco Dentist

Get screened at the dentist!
Every time you have an exam, your San Francisco dentist performs a basic oral cancer screening by looking and feeling the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. However, it is very important to have an extensive oral cancer screening such as the Vizilite T-Blue screening performed once a year if you are a tobacco user and once every two to three years if you are not.

Perform a self-exam monthly!
Using a bright light and a mirror:
·         remove any dentures
·         look and feel inside the lips and the front of gums
·         tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof of your mouth
·         pull the cheek out to see its inside surface as well as the back of the gums
·         pull out your tongue and look at all of its surfaces
·         feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in both sides of the neck including under the lower jaw

Look for:
·         white patches, called leukoplakia  
·         red patches (erythroplakia)
·         red and white patches (erythroleukoplakia
·         sore(s) that fails to heal and bleeds easily
·         abnormal lumps or thickening of the tissues
·         chronic sore throat or hoarseness
·         difficulty in chewing or swallowing
·         a mass or lump in the neck  

See your San Francisco dentist right away if you have any of these signs. When it comes to your health, your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores. If you discover something, don’t panic. Make an appointment for a prompt examination with Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS. You can visit us on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery.

Source(s): AAOMS, OCF