Doctors Give Free Oral Cancer ScreeningsBy Daniel Cherry | Published 22 Apr 2013 04:12pm |
Mississippians are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer since about a quarter of residents regularly smoke. Health care providers are seeking out untreated patients as part of Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.
More than 50 thousand new cases of oral cancer are expected this year nationwide. Oral health experts say dentists should be screening patients, but Shelly Taylor, a Dentist with the Division of Oncology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center urges people to keep track of unusual sores in their mouths.
"A funny lump or bump in your mouth, a swelling in your neck, and if it doesn't go away in two weeks that's another red flag."
Smoking and drinking alcohol are two of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer. Taylor also says survival rates in Mississippi are lower because many people don't have access to regular dental care.
"A lot of those patients don't receive health care on a regular basis, so when they do develop cancers they come here and it's more than likely in the stage 3 and 4 area."
Dental care providers are giving free oral cancer screenings today at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.
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