Oral Cancer

The key to surviving oral cancer is to discover it early when it is most treatable. Because it is usually tucked away in invisible or ignored areas of the mouth, it can go unnoticed until it has reached advanced - and often deadly - stages. The good news is we are trained to detect oral cancer before you may notice it and provide ways to help survive it.

Below is a story shared by a patient who can attest to the benefits of regular dental exams.

Sidney Anderson

Patient

sidney

"My story involves a misconception I had about dentistry. I was under the impression that once I lost all of my upper teeth and wore a denture that I probably did not need to go to the dentist anymore. I realized it would be better to be safe than sorry regarding my lower teeth and opted to still have them cleaned every three months as Dr. Pruett and my hygienist, Elizabeth Morris, recommended.

Most of my friends thought this was too frequent and not necessary. I must admit, I began to think that it may not hurt to extend the period between cleanings as my upper denture fit perfectly and caused no soreness or irritation and I used very little Fixodent.

My wife had extensive dental work in the past and stayed on a three month hygiene recall because of that and we decided I would remain on that same regimen with her.

It is hard for me to understand that even after all the preventative measures, I still got oral cancer. The saving grace is that because of the cleaning and care, the cancer was observed during a routine hygiene visit and was caught early due to the three month interval I had maintained.

Thanks to Dr. Pruett, his staff, Dr. Tom Bowers and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, I am alive and now cancer free. Due to early discovery, the cancer was contained and had not spread, making the need for chemo or radiation unnecessary.

Needless to say, I will maintain our three month routine of cleaning and observation. This is something we will never take for granted."

1Initial presentation of lesion on the palate

23 week post op

36 week post-op - cancer free.