April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Mona Stone of Stone Surgical Arts is passionate about educating the community on oral health and early prevention. Each year more than 45,000 Americans receive a diagnosis of oral cancer from their doctor and sadly more than 8,000 Americans will die from this preventable disease. If detected early, oral cancer can be treated effectively using radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. Your dental professional is best equipped to detect early signs of oral and pharyngeal cancer, but you can monitor your own body for symptoms which include:
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing, or difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas in your mouth
- Pain in only one ear, unaccompanied by hearing loss
- A sore, lump or other irritation in your mouth, on your lip, or in your throat
- A white or red spot in your mouth, especially on the mucosal membrane (inside cheek)
If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to visit your dentist for an examination. Only a biopsy can confirm an oral cancer diagnosis. Typically an incisional biopsy from the abnormal tissue is obtained.? A good adjunct tool is used to help identify lesions more likely to have premalignant or malignant changes. Specimens are evaluated for dysplasia which reflects cellular changes such as loss of basal cell polarity, increased mitotic activity etc. Depending on the degree of epithelial involvement, a histological grade is given: mild, moderate, severe, carcinoma in situ or squamous cell carcinoma. Not all white lesions are bad; when they are red/ulcerative or mixed white and red, suspicions are higher.
How can you prevent Oral Cancers?
- Cut out tobacco in all forms
- Drink moderately, and never combine alcohol and tobacco use
- Limit exposure to the sun, using a high Sun Protection Formula (SPF) sunscreen and lip balm
- Eat plenty of natural foods, including more fruits and vegetables
- Additionally, brush and floss regularly, exercise to maintain a healthy immune system, and see your dentist regularly.
Dr. Stone specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery to correct conditions of the mouth and surrounding facial structures, including the head, neck, and jaw. Specialized services include dental implants, TMJ disorders, sleep apnea, sinus lift, and other dental services. This new Westlake practice will also offer the community cosmetic facial services such as Botox and facial fillers, neck and face lifts, chin sculpting and reshaping, skin lesion removal, and other facial services. Dr. Stone’s goal with this new practice is to maximize her patient’s quality of life and care by collaborating with different providers (PCP, bariatric surgeons, physical therapy, nutritionists etc). Seasoned by over 10 years of clinical experience in her field, and backed by solid academic training and credentials, Dr. Stone enjoys a high satisfaction rating from patients who credit her with providing excellent dental and medical treatment and aftercare. Dr. Stone is a preferred provider with all major insurance carriers and financing is available for those who need the option. Dr. Stone is on staff as an attending surgeon at three local hospitals including Baylor Scott and White in Grapevine, Irving, and Methodist Health.
Stone Surgical Arts is located at 72 Andorra Drive, Suite 110, Westlake, TX 76262, 817-918-3666. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. For more information, visit https://www.stonesurgicalarts.com.