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    April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

    Burgundy ribbon


    According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 132 people, in the United States alone, will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer and one person will die from it every hour of every day.

    Common names for oral cancer include: mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer and throat cancer. There are two main causes for oral cancer: tobacco and/or alcohol use and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV). However, a small percentage of people do get oral cancer from an unidentified cause and genetics can contribute to your chances of an oral cancer diagnosis.

    Symptoms to watch for include mouth sores that don’t heal, bleeding in the mouth, loose teeth, lump in the neck and pain or difficulty swallowing. When found at early stages, oral cancers have a 80-90% survival rate. Unfortunately, the majority are found as late stage cancer and account for a higher death rate. Awareness, prevention and oral cancer screenings can increase survival rates significantly. According to a Harris Interactive survey, 71% of Americans have not been examined by a medical professional for oral, head and neck cancer.

    The Velscope oral cancer screening takes about two minutes to complete and is safe and comfortable for the patient. The Velscope device emits a safe, blue light that inspects the mouth and tongue and shows any abnormalities not visible to naked eye.

    At Mortenson Family Dental, we perform FREE Velscope Oral Cancer Screenings at your regular hygiene cleanings. We believe it is essential to our patient’s health to provide annual oral cancer screenings for the best chance of early detection.

    To learn more about oral cancer or how to schedule an appointment for a screening with a Mortenson Family Dental office near you, call 502-244-9595.