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April has been designated as Oral Cancer Awareness Month by the Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer is a serious concern, and at Shaia Dental Care we want to do our part to help all our friends in the Parma Heights, OH, area know about this disease. Here are some quick basics.

Oral cancer is found in nearly 50,000 new patients every year, and just under half of them will be dead within 5 years. The disease is so deadly not because it is difficult to detect, but because it is routinely detected late in its development. Often, it is only found once it has metastasized to another part of the body, like the lymph nodes. By this time, prognosis significantly worsens. Oral cancer is actually very treatable if caught early.

The best way to catch oral cancer early is by getting regularly screened. In a screening, Dr. Anthony Shaia will carefully examine your mouth, face, and neck for signs of abnormal tissue. Oral cancer screenings are given during every routine cleaning and dental exam at Shaia Dental Care.

While oral cancer can be found in anyone, there are some risk factors that increase its probability of developing. The largest is tobacco use of any kind. Alcohol use and sun exposure are also risk factors. One emerging factor is the presence of HPV, or human papilloma virus.

At Shaia Dental Care, we are concerned about your complete oral health. Please schedule a cleaning today and get yourself checked for oral cancer. To learn more about oral cancer, including symptoms and risk factors, go to the OCF website, www.oralcancer.org.