Aspen Dental reminds patients about dangers of oral cancer

April 12, 2010
Dental care provider to make donation to Oral Cancer Foundation.

SYRACUSE, New York--Aspen Dental reminds patients about the importance of oral cancer screening and early detection in recognition of Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week April 12-18, 2010.

As part of its commitment to oral cancer detection, Aspen Dental will donate a portion of the proceeds for oral cancer screenings conducted during the week of April 12 to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 35,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer each year, and oral cancer is responsible for approximately 8,000 deaths annually. Oral cancer is often discovered late in its development, which means that the death rate is particularly high.

"Early detection is key, so regular dental care and oral cancer screenings are critically important," said Dr. Arwinder Judge, vice president of clinical support at Aspen Dental Management.

"Oral cancer can be found anywhere in the mouth, or on your lips or tongue. It's important to identify any abnormalities as early as possible, when the cancer is most treatable."

Common risk factors for oral cancer include use of tobacco products (smoked and smokeless), excessive alcohol consumption, and HPV infection. According to the American Cancer Society, possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer include a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal, a lump or thickening, ear pain, a neck mass, coughing up blood, a red or white patch that persists, and difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw.

"People who are experiencing any of these symptoms and have risk factors for oral cancer should be screened as soon as possible," urged Dr. Judge.

In addition to conducting visual exams for oral cancer, Aspen Dental offers screening with Vizilite Plus, a blue-light, "glowstick" technology to detect oral cancer. Aspen Dental will donate $5 from every Vizilite Plus screening conducted during Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.

Providing access to comprehensive dental care
Many patients do not visit the dentist regularly, according to a 2003 "National Call To Action To Promote Oral Health" by the U.S. Surgeon General. Fewer than two-thirds of adults report having visited a dentist in the previous 12 months. .

Dentists at Aspen Dental work to help break down the barriers that keep patients from getting the oral care they need. Additionally, to help encourage patients to take the first step toward good oral health, Aspen Dental offers free new-patient exams to patients that do not have the benefit of insurance.

To make an appointment, call (800) ASPEN DENTAL or visit Aspen Dental.

To read more about oral cancer, go to Aspen Dental.

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