The statistics are highly suggestive: when discovered early the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is about 83%. Unfortunately, most cases of oral cancer are discovered in late stages, when the five-year survival rate drops to around 50 percent.
New research confirms that the risk factors for oral cancer have been expanded to include the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16), in addition to tobacco use, frequent and/or excessive alcohol consumption, a compromised immune system, and past history of cancer. This changing demographic presents an unprecedented call to action for oral cancer awareness and regular screenings.
Oral cancers can be deadly diseases. Each year in the United States, roughly 45,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed, and about 13% of people die within the same year they are diagnosed.
Treatment may be more successful with oral cancers that are found early. Dr. Kuske checks for these cancers every time you visit, so this is one more reason to see your local dentist regularly.
Dr. Kuske Uses VELscope® Vx
Learn more about the enhanced oral assessment system Dr. Kuske uses at her office to help with your diagnosis. She welcomes patients from in and around Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills.
Dr. Kuske is very dedicated to staying on top of oral cancer screenings. She thinks it is so important that it is done at no charge once a year on every patient.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
Below is a list of mouth and throat cancer signs and symptoms. Check your mouth in the mirror each day when you brush and floss. If there are any changes in your mouth or neck, or if you notice any of these signs or symptoms, contact Dr. Kuske. Signs and symptoms of oral (mouth) cancer:
a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
red or white patches
pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
How Can Dr. Kuske Help?
During a dental exam, Dr. Kuske will check your face, neck and mouth for lumps, red or white patches, and sore areas that do not heal. Dr. Kuske may check you for oral cancer visually, manually, with special screening tools, or with a combination of these methods.
Be sure to tell Dr. Kuske if you notice any changes in your mouth and/or neck. If signs of cancer are found early, treatment may be more successful.
Be aware of any changes in your mouth and throat. If you have any concerns about mouth and throat cancer, talk with Dr. Kuske. It may help save your life.