The Australian Dental Association used the occasion of World Cancer Day on Sunday (4 February) to urge Australians to have regular dental check-ups—to help monitor their overall oral health and also detect signs of oral cancer, one of the 10 most common cancers.
“World Cancer Day’s theme—‘We can. I can.’—applies to oral health by highlighting the importance of Australians getting their routine check-up and oral examinations with their dentists,” ADA’s Oral Health Committee vice-chairman Dr Michael Foley said.
As part of these routine check-ups, dentists screen patients for early signs of oral cancer. Early detection and a timely referral are essential as people with oral cancer have a survival rate of only 50 per cent over five years. Oral cancer often goes undetected until it is at an advanced stage.
During a check-up, dentists also provide patients with information about the links between lifestyle and cancer risk, which is a key first step in effective cancer prevention.
“However, dentists can’t identify these signs or provide this information if Australians do not see their dentist,” Dr Foley said. “World Cancer Day and the new year is a good opportunity for Australians to make an appointment.”
Based on a media release sourced from the ADA website.
Read our story Cancer in the dental domain in the November 2016 issue of Bite magazine.