Tag Archives: cancer

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist During Your Next Visit

You have been in charge of your own oral hygiene since you were a child. While you think you have a pretty good handle on things, there may be parts of your routine that you’ve been rushing through. If you’ve been skipping out on flossing, your dentist may ask you to watch a short video on proper habits.

Of course, the easiest way to make sure that you receive the best possible care is to have all the information you need. Here are some of the top questions to ask your dentist during your next visit.

What is Your Experience?

You should not be afraid to ask your dentist about their level of experience. While you may find a brief history on their website, like the one you can find for Dr. Ruyak, a credible Bethlehem dentist, you can still inquire further. For instance, you may have questions about their education and how long they have been practicing. You will also want to know how comfortable they are with any special treatment that you might need.

What are the Best Home Care Tips?

This is one of the most important questions to ask your dentist during your visit. In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may have some tips to care for your teeth and gums at home in between office visits. They may also recommend a different style toothbrush, a new mouthwash, or implementing a Waterpik into your routine. These tools may help minimize the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

How Do You Manage Fearful Patients?

If you have a major fear of seeing the dentist, your practitioner may have tools to help you stay calm through your visit. Many dentists offer sedatives to anxious patients to help ease their nervousness. If that is not an option, some dentists have headphones available to their patients, or you can bring your own in. Listening to your favorite music while your treatment is being performed can help reduce anxiety.

If you are a fearful patient who needs to undergo oral surgery, your surgeon may decide to use general anesthesia.

It is difficult to communicate with your dentist while undergoing treatment. For anxiety-ridden patients, this can make a simple checkup even more daunting. Work with your dentist to come up with a hand signal that can be used to indicate if you feel excessive pain or discomfort. This will ensure that you are comfortable, both physically and mentally, throughout your procedure.

Do You Offer Oral Cancer Screenings?

Even if you don’t use tobacco products, you may still be at risk for developing oral cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In fact, nearly all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. However, in some people, it can lead to health problems like genital warts and forms of cancer.

Traditionally, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat) have been thought to be caused by the use of tobacco and alcohol. However, recent studies show that HPV may be a contributing factor in 60-70% of these cancers.

Oral cancer can also affect people of all ages with no obvious cause. A thorough examination done by a dentist can detect the presence of oral cancer. Some dentists also use a special device that emits light into the mouth to detect cancer.

Your dentist wants you to have a positive experience while in their care. After all, patients who are anxious or fearful may put off their appointment and not seek the care they need. By choosing a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and asking the right questions, you can be sure that you are taking charge of your oral health.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 222,500 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. This year alone, it will claim more than 155,000 lives — more than colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. This month, organizations across the country will rally their communities in the fight against the number one cancer killer.

Lung Cancer: Types, Symptoms & Causes

The first step in having an impact in the fight against lung cancer is knowing the facts. Read on for information about the causes of lung cancer, symptoms, and how you can help raise lung cancer awareness.

Types of Lung Cancer

There are three types of lung cancer: small cell (SCLC), non-small cell (NSCLC), and carcinoid. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, making up about 80% of all cases. SCLC is a fast-growing type of lung cancer commonly caused by smoking. Carcinoid tumors are extremely rare and slow-growing, making up about 5% of cases.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

The lungs have very little nerve endings. Because of this, tumors may not initially produce symptoms that the patient can feel until the cancer is in its later stages. Many respiratory symptoms of lung cancer mimic other illnesses, which can also delay diagnosis and treatment.

Common symptoms of lung cancer to look out for include:

  • Persistent coughing that worsens over time
  • Hoarseness or voice changes
  • Frequent lung infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Bone pain

Causes of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is caused by cells in the lungs mutating or changing. The most common trigger for the mutation is inhaling toxic substances, such as tobacco smoke, asbestos, radon, or arsenic, just to name a few.

Lung cancer does not discriminate. Anyone can be diagnosed with the disease. The number one cause of lung cancer is smoking, affecting smokers as well as non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Inhalation of dangerous substances can take decades to cause lung cancer. Moreover, your genes can put you at a higher risk if there is a family history of lung cancer.

lung cancer awareness

Ways to Raise Lung Cancer Awareness

There are many ways in which you can join in the fight against the number one cancer killer.

Education: Education is the very first step in raising awareness about lung cancer. When you read and share articles like this one, you are arming yourself with the facts about this dangerous disease and making sure your circle knows about them as well.

Social Media: If you or someone you know has been affected by lung cancer, share your story on social media. Your story could help someone currently struggling, or inspire them to take charge of their health.

Community Events: Many organizations working to research and treat lung cancer will hold community walks, galas, and other fundraising events. You can find these events during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but also during the rest of the year. Find a community event near you to take part in.

Identify Your Risks: If you or a loved one has a greater risk of developing lung cancer, it is important to seek out screening options and professional support. For example, steelworkers are at an increased risk of developing asbestos-caused diseases, such as lung cancer. If you believe that your lung cancer is a result of asbestos exposure, you may need to seek out an asbestos injury lawyer that will fight for your rights and help you navigate through a potential diagnosis.