The First Step in Your Overall Health
Have you had an oral cancer screening lately?
Do you have a history of oral cancer in your family?
Do you use tobacco products or drink heavily?
The goal of an oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer or precancerous areas early. When oral cancer is detected early, it will be much easier to treat. And you’ll give yourself a greater chance for a cure. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer after you notice symptoms, then the cancer may have already spread and be much more difficult to treat.
According to the American Dental Association, 9,750 lives may be claimed this year in the United States by oral cancer. And the five-year survival rate of those diagnosed with oral cancer is approximately 60 percent.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
Most dentists will perform a visual oral cancer screening during your routine dental examination. During your visit at Peace Haven Family Dentistry, we will examine your mouth, tongue, gums, inside of your cheeks, floor and roof of your mouth, lips, and visible areas of your throat for any abnormalities.
- White or red patches
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in your mouth or lips
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
- A feeling like something is caught in your throat
- Change in voice
It’s important to be seen by your dentist if any of these conditions persist for more than two weeks. So, if you’re not coming in for your regular six-month cleaning or if you are in between cleanings, stop in at Peace Haven Family Dentistry for an oral cancer screening. If we suspect the presence of any abnormalities, we may refer you to a specialist who may use additional tests to help confirm the areas of abnormal cells in your mouth and the presence of any cancerous or precancerous cells.
Is Oral Cancer Screening Necessary?
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to the necessity of oral cancer screenings. While some groups have determined that oral cancer screening has not been proven to save any lives, other dental officials believe that it’s better to screen for the presence of oral cancer or abnormal precancerous cells than to not check at all. And if you have any of the risk factors for oral cancer, you’ll want to be doubly sure that you’re protecting your health.
Did you know that men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer than women? Also, smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers over the age of 50 are the most at-risk for an oral cancer diagnosis. Some other health and lifestyle factors may cause patients to have a higher risk of oral cancer.
- History of oral cancer in your family
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- Tobacco use (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, etc.)
- Heavy alcohol use
- Repeated significant sun exposure (increases the risk of lip cancer)
If we do find an abnormality during your exam, please stay calm. It’s important to note that every abnormality is not a sign of oral cancer. That’s why it’s best to have a regular oral cancer screening to catch any oral health issues early.
For your oral cancer screening contact us!