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Advice From the Sacramento Dentistry Group on Avoiding Oral Cancer

Posted: 9th September 2015 08:38

The dentists at the Sacramento Dentistry Group are concerned about their patients' health. One major form of potentially deadly disease often diagnosed first by dentists is oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2015 over 45,000 Americans will contract oral cancer and almost nine thousand will die from it. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is important, as twice as many patients survive if the cancer is detected quickly. To promote early detection, the Sacramento Dentistry Group uses the VELscope screening system to identify abnormal tissues in the mouth and throat. Along with early detection, making healthy lifestyle choices helps people avoiding the unwanted consequences of a cancer diagnosis.

Decreasing the Oral Cancer Risk

Patients decrease their chance of getting oral cancer if they are 1) a woman, and 2) not over the age of 40. Of course, gender is set at birth and aging is unstoppable. It is noteworthy, however, that women have half the incidence of oral cancer as men and young people are far less likely to develop the disease. For the entire population, here are some behaviors that decrease the chance of developing oral cancer:

Regarding tobacco and alcohol consumption, these habits are risk factors by themselves. Combine them together and you have the most potent means of increasing oral cancer risk. Infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) is also common in one specific form of oral cancer --- two-thirds of oropharyngeal cancers (these affect the throat, back of the tongue, tonsils and soft palate) contain HPV. Although it is transmitted both with and without sexual contact, HPV is found in eighty percent of sexually active people. Precautions against sexually transmitted disease therefore reduce your oral cancer risk.

The Good News About Oral Cancer

"Quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol use sharply reduce the risk of developing oral cancer, even after many years of use." --- American Cancer Society

As stated by the American Cancer Society, if patients fix hazardous behaviors, they immediately start to reduce the chance of a diagnosis with oral cancer. If a patient's daily life includes any of the aforementioned risk factors, however, it is important to ask about VELscope screening at their Sacramento Dentistry Group semi-annual exam. But please remember, that while their Sacramentodentists help diagnose and treat oral cancers, the best "cure" for cancer is preventing it!

For more information about oral cancer and VELscope screening, contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group at 916-538-6900 or via their website at

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