On Wednesday, April 19th, the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic will host a free Oral Cancer Screening from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. This event is free to the public for all ages (minors will need to have their legal guardian present) and no appointment is necessary! The Dental Clinic is located at 228 S 18th Street in Sturgeon Bay.
Dr. Joan Fox, DDS, and Dr. Sheila Agullana, DDS, will be performing the oral cancer screenings. During the screening, the doctor will examine your mouth, tongue, and visible throat for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. The screening typically involves a visual examination of the oral cavity, as well as palpation, which involves feeling the mouth and neck for lumps or other abnormalities.
The doctor will look for signs of abnormal tissue or growths, including white or red patches in the mouth or on the lips, sores that do not heal, lumps or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth. If she sees any signs of concern, she may recommend further testing and refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are the largest group of cancers that are included in the category of head and neck cancers. Common names for these cancers include: mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, and throat cancer.
The American Cancer Society projects that in 2023, just over 54,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer and about 11,500 Americans will succumb to the disease. When detected early, oral and oropharyngeal cancers have an 80% to 90% survival rate, but unfortunately, the majority of cases are detected in the later stages, which reduces the survival rate to 43% five years from diagnosis.
It is important to have regular oral cancer screenings, particularly if you are at a higher risk due to factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, a history of human papillomavirus (HPV), or a history of oral cancer in your family. Early detection is key to successful treatment of oral cancer.