Oral Cancer

ALL  ABOUT ORAL CANCER     by MiskinDental.ca, located in Ajax If you are a non-smoker or a non-drinker, you might think your chances of getting oral cancer are almost negligible. Sadly, you could be wrong.According to a Harvard Medicine Health Blog, oropharyngeal cancers caused by smoking and drinking are on a decline, while those caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) are quickly rising.HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, particularly in the tonsils, back of the throat and base of the tongue. Typically, it affects generally healthy, non-smokers between the ages of 35 and 55. Men are four times more likely to be affected than women.HPV is a group of over 100 strains of a virus, many of which are harmless.  It is estimated that approximately 1,200 people in Canada between the ages of 15 and 24 are infected with HPV every single day.For most, exposure to HPV is harmless. A person with HPV may not even know they have it since many don’t experience any unusual signs or symptoms.  Due to a lack of symptoms, the virus can lay dormant for years, going unnoticed, until it develops into something more serious.It is estimated that 7% of people between the ages of 14 and 69 have an HPV infection in their mouth that could lead to throat cancer. Symptoms of HPV-related throat cancer include swollen lymph nodes, earaches, swollen tongue, pain when swallowing, hoarseness, numbness inside the mouth, small lumps inside the mouth and around the neck, coughing up blood, red or white patches on the tonsils, and unexplained weight loss.Early detection of HPV oral cancers can be difficult since most people don’t have any noticeable symptoms. Most throat cancers are diagnosed by doctors or dentists after symptoms begin to appear. The good news is that HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer has a survival rate of 85% if caught early enough and treated.  Dr. Miskin will screen for oral cancer by looking for any signs of cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions in your mouth and throat during routine dental check-ups. Dr. Miskin will examine your mouth for any signs of red or white patches, or sores and will also feel for any unusual lumps in the tissue.Risk of developing HPV or HPV-related oral cancers can be reduced by using protection during sex and by talking to your doctor about HPV vaccine.www.MiskinDental.ca     in Ajax  905-686-4343

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