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Valley dentist encourages oral cancer tests

Edgar Reyna looks at the flowers at the make-shift memorial of his friend Javier Flores, the Subway employee who was killed in a robbery Wednesday night while working, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in Houston. Reyna has known 18-year-old Flores since sixth grade and said Flores was like a brother to him. Houston police say Flores was fatally shot as he tried to protect his mother during an attempted robbery at the store. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)

CHANDLER, Ariz. — April is Oral Cancer Awareness
Month.

The American Dental Association says 44,000 Americans will get oral or throat cancer this year.

Chandler dentist Justin Phillip said he has seen a lot of patients get those diseases.

“One American dies every hour from oral cancer,” said Philipp. “It’s actually as deadly as melanoma, and more common than leukemia.”

There can be several symptoms, he said.

“Pain, swelling, tingling, a visible red or white patch or bump. Unfortunately, you don’t see any of the symptoms until you get to stage 3 or 4, and that’s when the cancer can spread,” said Philipp.

He said it’s easy to treat if caught early. And it just takes a simple two-minute test, usually while your dentist cleans your teeth.

“We have you swish with some liquid,” Philipp said. “Then we use a special wavelength of light along with some glasses. What we see is the cancer when it’s stage 1 or 2, and easy to treat. It will actually glow, and we can take care of it.”

The test usually costs about $30. This month, Philipp is donating $5 from every oral cancer exam to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Click here to visit Philipp’s website.

In the videos below, Philipp performs a check for oral cancer on a female patient.

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