“Oral cancer is the leading cancer in individuals under 30. In addition, many people under 30 are smokers. Imagine if we could reduce the amount of cancer cases by simply helping people to quit smoking on November 15th? I perform visuals checks for cancer symptoms with all my dental patients. I hate being the one to refer out for further testing. It is heartbreaking. We know smoking can lead to cancer, so I have decided to do as much as possible to get people to quit,” said Dr. Catrise Austin.
Preventing oral cancer and other tobacco related diseases is high priority for the American Dental Association. The ADA.org offers a variety of strategies and resources. “I do a visual and oral cdx check on my patients. People need to ask their dentist for a cdx check too,” continued Dr. Austin. “Patches, especially white ones, in the mouth are a sign of possible oral cancer. Loose teeth and mouth bleeding are symptoms of cancer too. The problem is that these symptoms can be associated with other diseases too. I would encourage anyone with one (or all) of these symptoms to get in to see their dentist. And, if they are a smoker, take the American Smokeout Challenge!” More information on the Great American Smokeout can be found here: http://www.cancer.org/