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Dr. Ernesto Prida is excited to share Oral Cancer Awareness with our patients this month, as April is officially the month when the dental community comes together to create public awareness. At Stone Lodge Dental, we offer oral screenings all year long. Oral cancer awareness is important to Dr. Prida because this disease claims the lives of people every hour of every day. We want to make a dent in that statistic, by working with our patients to reduce those rates, especially because oral cancer is treatable when discovered in the early stages.

Unless you are screening for oral cancer, it tends to go undetected because you may not notice any signs or symptoms in the early stages. This is why oral cancer screenings come into play, because we know what to look for and can detect this disease during a routine dental checkup. The following are some of the signs we look for during your exam.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

–Hoarseness that doesn’t go away

–Numbness in the face or mouth area

–A persistent ear ache on one side

–A white or red patch in the mouth (or small ulcer) that doesn’t heal within 14 days

–A lump in the inside of your mouth or neck

–Pain when you swallow, speak or chew

In the past, people who were most at risk for oral cancer were those who tobacco or heavily consumed alcohol. Today, more young people are affected because of HPV (the human papillomavirus) which is a sexually transmitted disease. If oral cancer goes undetected for too long, the survivability rate among those who are diagnosed is low, with only a little above 50% chance of surviving past five years from the time of the diagnosis. This is why we want to provide oral cancer screenings–to catch the disease early when treatment can be effective. Thankfully, we can often see and feel the tissue changes in the early stages while it is still small.

If you have any concerns, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Ernesto Prida, we invite you to call our Stone Lodge Dental team in McKinney, Texas at 214-613-1500 today!