Early Screenings Are Key In Fight Against Oral Cancer

Aspen Dental Practices to Make Donation to Oral Cancer Foundation for Advance Screenings During Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April

Apr 01, 2014, 15:36 ET from Aspen Dental

SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, oral cancer kills more people in the U.S. than other more widely known forms of cancer, including skin, lymphatic, thyroid, and cervical cancers.

According to the 2013 Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, HPV-positive oral cancer, in particular, is rising at an alarming rate and is poised to overtake cervical cancer in terms of annual number of cancer cases.  The overwhelming majority of HPV-caused oral cancers arise in men.

Aspen Dental practices are reminding patients about the importance of early detection and supporting The Oral Cancer Foundation in recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month.  

As a commitment to early detection of oral cancer, Aspen Dental will donate $5 to the Oral Cancer Foundation for every ViziLite® oral cancer screening conducted at Aspen Dental locations during the month of April. ViziLite® Plus is a specially designed light technology that can help detect oral cancer.

"If oral cancer is detected early (in stages one or two), the survival rate is 80% to 90%; but when found as a later stage (stages three or four), the chances of survival drop to 20% to 30%," said Maureen Howes, RDH, MS, director of hygiene services at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "It's important to identify any possible signs or irregularities as early as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is through regular dental care and oral cancer screenings."

Throughout the month, Aspen Dental will be sharing information about oral cancer on its Facebook page.   Common risk factors for oral cancer include excessive alcohol consumption, use of tobacco products (smoked and smokeless), and HPV infection.

Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore in the throat or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks; a lump or thickening in the cheek; a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth; a sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat; difficulty chewing or swallowing; difficulty moving the jaw or tongue; or numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth. Denture patients may experience swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.

To find locations offering free oral cancer screening in your area, including participating Aspen Dental offices, please visit the Oral Cancer Foundation event website.

About Aspen Dental
Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 400 practices in communities across 27 states. As part of its mission to provide America with a healthy mouth, Aspen Dental is providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care. Every Aspen Dental-branded practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.  

In 2013, Aspen Dental-branded practices recorded nearly 2.9 million patient visits and welcomed more than 600,000 new patients. The dentists and staff at Aspen Dental-branded practices have a deep commitment to patient satisfaction, and every Aspen Dental location is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. 

Aspen Dental practices are supported by Aspen Dental Management, Inc., a dental support organization that provides non-clinical business support to licensed, independent dentists.

To learn more about Aspen Dental practices and services, preview the Aspen Dental patient experience, get answers to general treatment questions, find a location, and schedule appointments, visit www.aspendental.com.  To learn more about careers at Aspen Dental, visit http://aspendentaljobs.com.

SOURCE Aspen Dental