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Free oral cancer screenings this month

Posted: April 6, 2011 3:09 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2011 5:00 p.m.

In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, A Unique Dental Experience in Santa Clarita will offer free oral cancer screenings through the month of April.

Call Dr. Dell Goodrick of A Unique Dental Experience at (661) 254-4000 to schedule an appointment.

A Unique Dental Experience is located at 23504 Lyons Ave., Suite 104, Newhall 91321.

Oral cancer is not a rare disease. Approximately 37,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the US. It kills one person every hour of every day, and more than 100 new individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. The good news is that it can often be found early in its development, through a simple, painless and quick screening.

Who should get screened?
Every adult. Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and side effects from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages. Make them part of your annual health check-ups.

What are the risk factors?
There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), a newly identified etiology, and the same one responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population are young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to this virus.

Early Indicators:
* Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth.
* Any sore which does not heal within 14 days.
* Hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time.

Advanced Indicators:
* A sensation that something is stuck in you throat.
* Numbness in the oral region.
* Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.
* Difficulty in swallowing.
* Ear pain which occurs on one side only.
* A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal.
* A lump or thickening which develops in the mouth or on the neck.

An oral cancer screening should be conducted every year, so take advantage of this free offer and get screened today.


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