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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
                                                             
      Call: 308-436-3491       www.dentalgentlecare.com           

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ORAL CANCER

Regular exams are important to caught early signs of cancer    
It is the sixth most common cancer. 

 More than 30,000 to 40,000 Americans  are diagnosed with oral cancer a year.  Here are some facts:

  1. Smoking, using chewing tobacco, and heavy drinking are the prime risk factors to getting oral cancer.  However 25% of all people diagnosed with oral cancer have none of these risk factors at all.  It is the sixth most common cancer.   

  2. One half to two-thirds of these cancer cases are found in men and people older than 45. 

  3. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, floor of the mouth, soft palate tissue areas in back of the tongue, lips and gums.  

  4. Cancerous oral lesion are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth.  If it is not diagnosed and treated early, is can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. 

  5. In the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of oral cancer patients under age 30 who have no identifiable risk factors of contracting the disease.**

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Oral cancer occurs 2.6 times more frequently in men than in women.

      Here are risk factors and signs of oral cancer you need to know.  Remember early detection of oral caner is up to you by following through on these suggestions.

     Check your own mouth-lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth regularly for the following:

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A color change in the oral tissues (whitish, discolored or red spots or lesions).

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A lump, thickening, rough spot crust or small eroded area in and around the mouth that is typically painless in its early stages.

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A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.

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Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in your mouth or on your lips

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Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue

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Changes in your voice or persistent hoarseness.

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A change in the way your teeth fit together.

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Watch for changes beyond your mouth that signal oral cancer: drastic weight loss or a lump or mass in your neck.

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The most frequent sites for cancer are the tongue, floor of the mouth, tissues in the back of the tongue, lips and gums.

Oral Cancer Self Test

Poor mouth care can contribute to oral cancer, which now takes more lives annually than cervical or skin cancer.

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If any of these conditions persists longer than 2 weeks contact us immediately for an examination and inform our staff what your concern is about.

Detecting oral cancer in the very early stages is CRITICAL

Someone dies from oral cancer every hour in the U.S.

Prevent Oral Cancer:

   You can take steps to minimize your risk for developing oral cancer:

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Stop using any kind of tobacco product-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, or smokeless varieties such as snuff or chewing tobacco; especially in combination with heavy alcohol consumption. When tobacco use and alcohol use are combined the risk of oral caner increases 15 times more than non-users of tobacco and alcohol products.

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Long, repeated exposure to the sun may increase the risk of cancer on the lower lip.  Take precautions to minimize the effect of the sun on your lips.

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A diet low in fruits and vegetable can increase your overall risk of developing cancer along with genetic, liver function and certain medications.

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Get oral checkups at least 2 times a year even if your mouth are teeth don't hurt or your dentures fit.

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Ask your dentist to perform an oral cancer exam and to evaluate abnormalities.

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Use good oral health habits by brushing and flossing daily.

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Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

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Perform a self-exam-look for anything abnormal under tongue, on tongue and in cheek and lip areas.

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If a sore doesn't go away within two weeks, tell the dentist.

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Aspirin may reduce oral cancer risk. Regular use of low-dose aspirin may significantly reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus, The risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus was two thirds lower in people who had taken low-dose aspirin regularly for 5 years or more, compared with those who never used aspirin regularly. . [British J of Cancer 2003;88:672-674. cited Contemporary Oral Hygiene 2003; 3(6)] 8/03

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Eating an orange a day may be one of the secrets to living younger longer. According to study results, a mere one extra serving of citrus fruits each day may reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx, and stomach by as much as 50 percent. Researchers credit the antioxidant properties of vitamin C-rich citrus fruits for the possible cancer-fighting benefits. RealAge Benefit: Getting 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C per day from food and supplements can make your RealAge as much as 1 year younger. 1/04

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    We will screen for oral cancer during comprehensive examinations and or periodic exams (checkups).  We feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth looking for any sores or discolored tissues.

    Prevention can be accomplished by following the above suggestions and receiving regular 6 month check ups where an oral cancer check is a routine part of this exam. 

     If it is suspected that you have oral caner, a biospy of the lesion will be required to confirm the diagnosis.  

     You will be requested to visit your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.  Surgery and/or radiation therapy may be used as part of the treatment.  Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses special chemicals to kill cancerous cells.

    Oral cancer accounts for roughly 9,000 deaths a year.  Of all major cancers, oral cancer has the worst five-year survival rate at about 54% because it is often not diagnosed in it's early stages.  Less than half of these patients are cured due to this fact.

     Remember it is sometimes difficult to self-diagnose this condition which makes regular dental visits a valuable preventive tool in your fight against cancer.  Early diagnosis can greatly increase your survival rate due to earlier oral cancer discovery and treatment.

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Surgeon General's Report states: Oral and pharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in nearly 30,000 Americans annually, primarily the elderly; 8,000 die from these disease each year.

ALERT: Green and black teas contain polyphenols that appear to kill oral cancer cells by destroying the tumor "nest". ADA News, March 2001

    To learn more go too: 
www.ada.org American Dental Association and click on the Patients and Consumers content area
www.agd.org Academy of General Dentistry and click on Consumer Information for articles related to this and other dental topics. www.cancer.org American Cancer Society
www.cdc.gov Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
Estimated Annual Deaths From Cancers
American Oral Canal Foundation

** AGD Impact, Dec 2002.

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September 10, 2007

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          If you have any questions please e-mail me at: drdpeterson@scottsbluff.net
                                                                                 308-436-3491 Office number

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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