Oral Cancer Screenings – another reason to keep regular dentist appointments
September 12, 2018According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 42,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with throat and oral cancer every year. What is even more shocking is that the five-year survival rate is just over 64 percent. However, with regular cancer screenings your dentist may be able to catch oral cancer early enough for treatment.
Oral cancer screenings
If there was a simple test that could give you an early warning about whether you're likely to have this disease, would you take it? The good news is — there is! Since early detection has been shown to increase the survival rate of oral cancer to 80% or better, this test can truly save lives. And best of all, having an oral cancer screening is part of something you should be doing anyway: getting regular dental checkups.
An oral cancer examination is fast and painless. Its objective is to identify small changes in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips and tongue that may signify the early stages of this type of cancer. The screening is primarily a visual and tactile (touch) examination. If any abnormalities are noted, a small tissue sample can be retrieved for further testing in a laboratory.
In between your dental checkups, it is important to watch for symptoms that could be early signs of oral or throat cancer. If the following signs do not disappear after two weeks, it is imperative that you see your dentist for an Oral Cancer Screening.
Some symptoms to watch for could include:
• An irritation or sore that will not go away
• White or red patches in your mouth cavity
• Numbness, pain, or tenderness on your lips or in your mouth
• Lumps, rough spots or eroded areas
• Problems when swallowing chewing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
• Changes in your bite
Who’s at risk?
According to medical research, several factors could increase your chances of oral and throat cancer. People who drink or smoke excessively and are over 50 years old have a high risk of oral cancer. Any type of tobacco use, including pipes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and hookah pipe smoking will put you in the high-risk category when it comes to oral and throat cancer. HPV, or the human papilloma sexually transmitted virus, has also been linked to oral cancer. If you have had a previous oral cancer diagnosis, or a history of sun exposure, you could be more susceptible to throat or oral cancer as well.
Regular dental checkups are not only important for your teeth and gums, but also vital for oral cancer screenings. If you’re searching the Huron, SD area for an oral cancer screening, look no further than Dakota Family Dentistry. We encourage you to schedule an appointment today to get checked out! Dakota Family Dentistry – 605-352-6999
Last Modified: 09/12/2018 11:03:05 am MDT