Patients who have any stage of oral cancer hold an 81% survival rate in their first year. The five-year survival rate makes a drastic drop to 56% while the 10-year survival rate is even lower with only 41%. When you get a dental exam, your dentist also checks for any signs of oral cancer.
This involves searching for any irregularities in connective tissue as well as checking for lumps that might be present in your oral cavity. While your dentist examines your mouth, they will also look out for any sores as well as discoloration of tissue as this could be a symptom of oral cancer.
If there are any areas that grab the suspicion of your dentist, they may call for a biopsy to confirm or deny their suspicions. Many doctors no longer use brush biopsies due to the fact that they will need to run a scalpel biopsy anyway even if the brush biopsy comes up positive.
1. Smokeless tobacco
Many people think that smokeless tobacco isn’t harmless just because it doesn’t generate smoke. The hard truth is that any tobacco product, even the smokeless variety, can pose serious risks to your health. One of these risks is an increased chance of developing oral cancer at any point in your life.
Beyond oral cancer, you will also have a higher chance of developing liver, oesophageal, and pancreatic cancer if you smoke. Smoking kills isn’t just some government campaign slogan, it’s a legitimate warning. The number of smokers has declined in recent years due to awareness campaigns run by both national governments as well as non-profits, but there are still countless people who put their life on the line by sucking on these cancer sticks.
Many people first get into smoking at school due to peer pressure or because they think it’s “cool.” That said, no level of praise from your friends or “cool” appearance is worth getting oral cancer for.