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Oral and pharyngeal cancers are not as widely known as some other forms of cancer. While they do tend to occur later in life, it is still possible to develop these cancers at a younger age.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 49,600 people will develop cancer in the oral cavity or pharyngeal area. An estimated 9,700 people will die from these cancers.

Early detection of these serious oral health conditions is very important for long-term treatment success. To aid in this effort the American Dental Association recommends that you have a routine dental checkup performed by a professionally trained dentist like Dr. Milan Sata twice each year.

While this appointment emphasizes early detection and treatment of cavities and periodontal health problems, Dr. Sata also includes a preliminary screening for signs of oral and pharyngeal cancer.

Dr. Sata will perform a screening for oral or pharyngeal cancer at the end of the checkup. This involves a brief examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for any swelling or abnormal discoloration. If she finds any areas of concern,  you will be referred to an oncologist or other specialist to confirm a diagnosis and start the treatment process. With early detection, the American Cancer Society estimates the 5-year relative survival rate can be as high as 83%.

If you live in the Flint, Michigan, area and you have an oral health concern, you should call 810-694-0200 to schedule a dental checkup and screening at Milan Sata DDS.