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A dentist suffered mouth pain and a non-healing ulcer before being diagnosed with mouth cancer after a series of dentists dismissed his condition. A doctor recommended a biopsy of the sore, which diagnosed oral cancer, a fatal condition that causes 8,000 deaths each year. However, with screening incorporated in dental appointments most oral cancers should be detected and treated, giving the sufferer a 80-90% chance of survival. Unfortunately the majority of the 30,000 new cases of oral cancer particularly in people over 45 years are diagnosed in advanced stages. Oral cancer is more common in heavy drinkers and smokers and appears as a chronic sore and pain anywhere in the mouth, most commonly on the tongue. Other symptoms include difficulty eating, swallowing, or talking, numbness or swelling in the mouth and discoloration of the oral cavity. Treatment is surgery to remove the cancer and local lymph nodes, and follow-up speech therapy to relearn the ability to talk.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Bucks County Courier Times
About: Late stage diagnosis of oral cancer demands screening
Date: 17 July 2005
Source: Bucks County Courier Times
Author: Jo Ciavaglia
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