Oral Cancer: Early Detection Saves Lives
In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, East Georgia Center for Oral & Facial Surgery will be offering free oral cancer screenings on each of the following Wednesdays in April:
- Wednesday – April 1 – Southern Pharmacy – 3 to 5pm
- Wednesday – April 8 – The Prescription Shop – 3 to 5pm
- Wednesday – April 15 – Medical Center Pharmacy – 3 to 5pm
- Wednesday – April 22 – Walker Pharmacy (Market District) – 3 to 6pm
- Wednesday – April 29 – Metter Pharmacy – 3 to 5pm
Oral cancer is not a rare disease. Approximately 43,250 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the US. It kills one person every hour of every day, and over 115 new individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. The good news is that it can often be found early in its development, through a simple, painless, and quick screening.
Who should get screened?
Every adult. Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects are from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings you engage in such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages. Make them part of your annual health check-ups.
What are the risk factors?
There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the US, and the same one, which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population are young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to this virus.
- Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth.
- Any sore which does not healed within 14 days.
- Hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time.
- A sensation that something is stuck in you throat.
- Numbness in the oral region.
- Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Ear pain which occurs on one side only.
- A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal.
- A lump or thickening which develops in the mouth or on the neck.
An oral cancer screening should be conducted every year, so take advantage of this free offer and get screened today. Visit us at one of our Free Screening Events previously listed.
For more information about oral cancer, please log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at www.oralcancer.org. For more information on the upcoming FREE oral screenings, please call 912.764.5435 or stop by our office at 613 E Grady Street.