The Australian Dental Association used the occasion of World Cancer Day earlier this week (4 February) to remind Australians to schedule regular check-ups with their dentist which should include a screening for oral cancer.
Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disease that can affect all ages, from young adults to the elderly. However, regularly visiting the dentist can increase your chance of early detection.
During a screening, the soft tissues in and around the mouth are visualised and palpated by a dentist to check for cancerous or precancerous lesions. It is one of the most important components of a general dental check-up and should be performed routinely.
World Cancer Day 2019 marked the start of a three-year campaign ‘I Am and I Will’ which aims to empower people to take action and reduce the impact of cancer on themselves and those they love.
“Awareness regarding oral cancer is an important message, because unfortunately the overall five-year survival rate for oral cancers is just under 74 per cent,” ADA president Dr Carmelo Bonanno said.
“If people notice changes within their mouth, such as a soft tissue ulcer that has been present for multiple weeks, they should seek advice from their dentist. People should be empowered to know and understand what is happening within their mouth.”
For more information from the ADA about oral cancer, visit Resources for Professionals.
Based on information sourced from an ADA press release.