Oral cancer rates up - it is routinely checked for at RedmondMolloy.
Three people die from head and neck cancer every week - greater numbers than die of skin melanoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma or cervical cancer yet the disease remains relatively unknown.
Oral cancer is also largely preventable as the major risk factors are Tobacco and alcohol consumption.
While the incidence of oral cancer is currently three times higher in males than females, it is rising in females and in younger males particularly with respect to Tongue cancer.
An analysis of recent data by the National Cancer registry of Ireland indicates the rates of oral cancer have increased by 26% in Irish females over the last decade ('94-'05) the most notable increase being the tongue and Tonsil lesions.
The prognosis for the early diagnosed is extremely good, with five year survival rates of 80%-90%, for advanced lesions it can fall as low as 10%-30%. The ability to control Head and neck cancer depends on prevention and early diagnosis.
The effectiveness of screening for breast, cervix and colorectal cancers has been well documented. However while screening for these involves some invasive tests and expensive equipment, oral cancer screening initially involves a relatively simple and painless visual examination of the oral soft tissues.
It usually takes less than a couple of minutes requires no special laboratory tests or special equipment and is routinely done as part of our routine dental check-up at Redmond Molloy.
Dentists are currently the only primary health care professionals that are trained in oral cancer examination. In Ireland only a third of the adult Irish population visit the dentist annually, while less than 50% visit bi-annually. The challenge is obviously to screen more frequently so regular attendance can make the difference between early and late detection and thus survival rates.
When it comes to cancer the message is simple early detection is key, and the easiest place to be screened is at your dentist.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CHECK-UP AND CANCER SCREENING NOW