Orange, Calif., March 29, 2011 -- Oral
cancer, like many other forms of the disease, offers a much higher cure rate when
it’s detected early. During April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the health
professionals at Western Dental Services, Inc., join the effort to improve recognition of the
“Comprehensive dental examinations that
include a screening for oral cancer will save lives,” says Dr. Louis Amendola,
D.D.S., Chief Dental Director at the California-based dental HMO.
Screenings for oral cancer are a routine
part of dental exams at the company, which has 250 company-managed offices in
California, Arizona and Nevada.
The exam takes less than five minutes
and involves a careful visual inspection of your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue and
throat. The dentist will check for swelling or any changes in the color or texture
of mouth tissues, says Dr. Amendola. The dentist also will feel the floor of
the mouth, the tongue and areas beneath the jaw bone to check for growths or
other abnormalities, he says.
“Many kinds of mouth ulcers, minor
injuries or sores can resemble an early state of cancer,” says Dr. Amendola.
“But if what you think is a cold sore or an injury from biting your cheek
doesn’t heal in two weeks, have it examined by a dentist who can determine the
next steps,” he says. “Typically, we’ll refer any potentially suspicious case
to a specialist who may order a biopsy.”
“Annual oral cancer screenings are one
of the best methods we have to help control the rate of the disease,” says
Samuel H. Gruenbaum, Western Dental President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s
a fast and painless exam that aims to discover any health issues while they’re
minor and easily treatable,” he says.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation,
oral cancers that are detected in their early stages offer a survival rate of
80 to 90 percent.
For more information or to find a nearby
dentist, visit www.westerndental.com
Dental Services, Inc., is the largest staff-model dental HMO and clinical
provider of dental services in California. With more than 4,400 employees and
over 250 company-managed dental offices throughout California, Arizona and
Nevada, Western Dental is the leader in family and specialty dental care
operations at convenient neighborhood locations. The company’s strict quality
oversight, affordably priced treatments, group and individual dental benefit
plans, as well as evening and weekend office hours, help keep the smiles of
nearly three-quarters of a million patients healthy and bright every year.
For more information, contact Valli Herman, (323) 906-1900, firstname.lastname@example.org