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Be Your Own Advocate—Save Your Own Life

As many of you may or may not know, Dr. Kron and I sponsor the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in White Bear Lake each year. We do this because we believe wholeheartedly in preserving the health of our community, and in promoting the prevention of and cure for such deadly diseases such as cancer. Though supporting the cause in a physical sense is extremely important to both of us, we also believe that knowledge can be a great weapon in preventing cancer and in protecting your health.

When individuals visit the dentist, they mistakenly assume that the most we can do for them is prevent cavities and ensure fresh breath; however, over the last couple of decades, our job has grown increasingly important. Amongst educating our patients on the connection between the mouth and body, we also have the important job of detecting oral cancer early on, before it becomes fatal.

Oftentimes, if discovered late, oral cancer can wreak havoc on the body, and require extensive, and disfiguring, surgery to the tongue, jaw and other areas of the mouth. This surgery can make it difficult to eat, talk and swallow, and render the patient incapable of continuing life as normal. However, if detected early on, oral cancer requires little surgery, and allows the patient a greater shot at a normal life. Your dentist is the person who has the capabilities to detect both precancerous and cancerous lesions in the mouth, through a simple oral screening exam which literally consists of a swap to the mouth.

Check out this article by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network at http://www.nccn.com/component/content/article/55-prevention/1731-early-detection-of-oral-cancer.html to learn why it’s important to be an advocate for your own health by visiting your dentist at least twice a year to receive one simple, life saving exam.

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