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Are you worried about oral cancer?

Dr. Keerti has done advanced training in Oral medicine, a field of dentistry that bridges the gap between dentistry and medicine and deals with oral pathologies such as oral cancer and precancerous states. She believes in doing an oral cancer exam on all patients at each recall visit. Her passion for the field of Oral medicine directly translates into premium care for her patients. Dr. Keerti is a part –time faculty member in the department of Oral medicine at the UW school of dentistry.

More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Of those 34,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only half will be alive in 5 years.

Cause and Risk Factors

The path that brings people to oral cancer contains at least two distinct etiologies (CAUSATIVE FACTORS) one through tobacco and alcohol and another via the HPV (HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS) virus. The HPV virus may be transmitted through sexual contact. The risk of acquiring this virus increases as the number of sexual partners increases. The malignancy sites associated with each pathway appear to also be different from each other. In the broadest terms they can be differentiated into these areas; HPV related lesions appear to occur on the tonsil area, the base of the tongue and the throat and non-HPV positive tumors tend to involve the anterior tongue, floor of the mouth, the mucosa that covers the inside of the cheeks and alveolar ridges (the ridge area in which the teeth reside).

Signs & Symptoms

You are the most important factor in an early diagnosis. You should always contact your doctor or dentist immediately if you notice the following symptoms in yourself or a loved one:

Diagnosis & Prevention

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH SMOKING OR TOBACCO CESSATION TALK TO YOUR MD OR YOUR DENTIST. FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH ALL THE RISK FACTORS. EARLY DETECTION IMPROVES THE CHANCE OF A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OUTCOME.

Call (425) 558-ENSO (3676), if you are worried about a suspicious sore in your mouth.