oral cavity cancer – Regularly for preventive care
White or red spots instead of smooth and pink: If there are changes in the oral mucosa, the dentist will clarify the suspicion of oral cavity cancer. Cancers of the oral cavity are on the rise worldwide.
In Germany fall ill about 10.000 people per year from oral cavity cancer. With 7.500 new cases per year, men are affected significantly more frequently than women.
Smoking and frequent high-proof alcohol consumption are the most important risk factors for the development of oral cavity cancer. Basically, the earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the chances of recovery.
Dental check-up equals cancer screening
A healthy oral mucosa is smooth, pale pink and soft. Rough, thickened, hardened, retracted or color-changed areas such as white or red spots but also ulcers are suspicious.
Any change that persists for longer than two weeks should be clarified by the dentist – even if it does not hurt. Because it is the painless changes that are the dangerous ones.
Oral cavity cancer – detected by the dentist
After a detailed questioning of the patient, the dentist examines the entire oral cavity with a bright lamp and a mouth mirror. He pays attention not only to the teeth and gums, but also to the tongue, cheek and pharyngeal mucosa.
He looks at conspicuous areas particularly thoroughly and palpates them. In the process, he may also palpate the neck to check whether the lymph nodes are swollen. This can already detect preliminary stages of oral cavity cancer.
“This is why the twice-yearly recommended routine examinations at the dentist are so important – not only for healthy teeth and gums, but also for the early detection of oral cavity cancer,” explains Prof. Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association. “This is especially true for older people.”
Oral cavity cancer – tissue sample secures diagnosis
In case of any suspicion of a precancerous condition or a real cancer, an examination by a specialized physician or dentist is mandatory.
If necessary, a tissue sample is taken under local anesthesia. This ensures the diagnosis. After that, further therapy can be initiated quickly. Sometimes it is necessary to check certain changes more frequently than usual. Patients should always keep these appointments.
Initiative proDente e.V. – Facts
Five associations representing the entire dental spectrum in Germany are involved in the initiative proDente e.V.:
- The German Dental Association (BZÄK),
- The Free Association of German Dentists (FVDZ),
- The Association of German Dental Technicians Guilds (VDZI),
- The Association of the German Dental Industry (VDDI),
- and the German Dental Trade Association (BVD).
Why this initiative?
proDente has set itself the goal of imparting sound specialist knowledge in the fields of dentistry and dental technology. The initiative aims to provide dedicated patient education in support of dentists and dental technicians.
proDente wants to show the value of healthy and beautiful teeth. Above all the clearing-up work of the prophylaxis up to the prosthetics stands thereby in the center. For dentists and dental technicians, proDente presents a comprehensive range of services to facilitate communication with patients.
proDente produces scientifically based information material in an easy-to-understand format. This includes the information brochure “Teeth good – everything good” as well as numerous other magazines, flyers and leaflets on special areas of dentistry.
The range of topics is regularly expanded. On the Internet, proDente is present with an information portal (www.prodente.en).
Dirk Kropp, Managing Director Public Relations, is the contact person for all questions concerning proDente’s public relations work. The office is located in Cologne.