Valley dentist offers free oral cancer screenings

In recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. J. Philipp is providing free oral-cancer screenings by appointment at his Chandler office on April 20.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 49,000 people will get oral  and oropharyngeal (middle part of the throat) cancers in the U.S. this year. One person dies from these cancers every hour.

These cancers occur most often in:

  • The tongue
  • The tonsils and oropharynx (middle part of throat which includes the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and walls of pharynx)
  • The gums and other parts of the mouth
  • Lips and minor salivary glands

“Like breast exams and prostate screenings, oral screenings are an effective way to spot and treat cancer at its early, curable stages,” Dr. Philipp said in a press release.  “Late stage treatment almost always results in disfiguring surgeries.”

While tobacco and alcohol use lead to most oral cancers, dentists are seeing more young, non-smokers exposed to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is the same one responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.

Dr. Philipp can demonstrate the fast, painless screening at his office or in-studio. It takes just one to two minutes and a special light highlights abnormal cells, according to the release.

The test can lead to detection much earlier than the following signs and symptoms, which often appear in later stages where the survival rate is less than 5 years:

  • Sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together when you close mouth

Free, fast, painless screenings are being offered 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. To schedule an appointment, call Dr. Philipp’s office at 480-306-5506. The office is at 3230 S. Gilbert Road Suite No. 4 in Chandler, J. Philipp Centers for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry was founded by Justin Philipp, DMD. The website is

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