Cancer of the oral cavity and throat accounts for more than 36,000 cases per year in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,000 deaths per year. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the key in treating this type of cancer. Nearly half of oral cancer patients are expected to die within 5 years upon diagnosis, but it is 80% to 90% survivable if diagnosed early.
Dr. Mirani, dentist in Beverly Hills, is sensitive to the dangers of oral cancer and the importance of early detection plays in the treatment and survival process. During each checkup and cleaning at her Beverly Hills dental she offers a thorough and systematic examination of the mouth and neck to determine if there any visible signs of the disease.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
Patients who smoke or drink alcohol and are over the age of 40 are at a greater risk of developing oral cancer. It is estimated that 75% of oral cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use so it is important for patients that smoke or drink to have oral cancer screening regularly.
Younger people who are sexually active are also at risk because of the possibility they may have been exposed to human papilloma virus 16. Human papilloma virus 16 is the causative agent of certain genital warts and is also the cause of cancers of the posterior mouth, including the tonsils, base of the tongue and throat. If you are sexually active, Dr. Mirani highly recommends an oral cancer screening the next time you visit her Beverly Hills dental office.
What happens during an oral cancer screening?
Dr. Mirani will carefully inspect various parts of your face, mouth, lips, neck, jaw, tongue, lymph nodes and back of the throat for sores, spots and lumps. She will visually inspect the lips, inner lining of the cheeks and the entire surface of the tongue, palate and throat looking for any ulcerated spots which are firm or raised and white in color. These spots are usually painless and if there are any suspicious areas she will perform a brush test. Cells from the area are removed with a brush and tested. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion will be surgically removed.
Dr. Mirani will also use her hands to feel for any abnormalities (lumps or masses) which may exist in the lip, cheek and tongue. She may have to refer you to a specialist for further treatment depending upon your particular situation.
30% percent of oral cancers originate in the tongue, 17% in the lip and 14% in the floor of the mouth.
The Key to Surviving Oral Cancer is Prevention and Early Detection.
Dr. Mirani suggests the following steps in order to protect you from the dangers of oral cancer: Maintain regular dental checkups, ask your dentist to perform an oral cancer screening, disclose your medical history (especially STDs) to your dentist and avoid tobacco and alcohol use. Also, contact Dr. Mirani’s office immediately if you notice any abnormal growths, discoloration, tenderness, or bleeding.
Dr. Mirani helps dental patients throughout Beverly Hills to achieve optimal oral heath through Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, Regular Checkups and Dental Cleanings. Call Dr. Mirani’s office today at (310) 858-5933 to schedule an appointment and to learn more about how to prevent, diagnose and treat Oral Cancer.
Dr. Mirani is a Cosmetic and General Dentist serving Beverly Hills.