Michael Douglas is again appearing in public following treatment for a tumor at the base of his tongue. After seven weeks of intense radiation and chemotherapy it has been reported that the tumor is gone. Mr. Douglas’ tumor was discovered at a dangerously late stage and was too large to be removed with surgery.
Unfortunately mouth and throat cancers are becoming more common. Reasons include smoking and drinking alcohol which Mr. Douglas blames for his cancer. Another risk factor for mouth and throat cancers is the HPV virus which also causes genital warts and cervical cancer.
An important, but often misunderstood, part of a comprehensive oral examination when you visit your dentist is a screening for oral cancers. Your dentist not only checks the health of your teeth and gums during your examination, but also performs manual and visual cancer screenings. You may also be screened using a special instrument that helps the dentist spot potential trouble spots which may then be biopsied.
Mr. Douglas has been extremely lucky. His cancer was not diagnosed until it was very advanced but he has responded extremely well to aggressive treatment. He will now get physical examinations every month and every six months undergo imaging scans such as MRI or CT.
Many people feel that they brush and floss really well at home so they don’t need to visit the dentist regularly. Oral cancer screening is just one reason they are wrong!
Please contact StoneRidge Dental Care in Gahanna, Ohio today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your dental examination. Prevention and early detection of gum disease, cavities and other oral health issues, including oral cancers is more important than ever. Call today!