Say "AHHH..." and Get Your Oral Cancer Screening On
Why Oral Cancer Prevention Screenings Are The Right Choice
It could never happen to you, right?
As much as we all like to believe that we are the exception, that a cancer diagnosis could never be given to us - the old saying, "Better to be safe than sorry," - significantly applies to oral cancer.
Preventive oral cancer screenings could be the difference between an early stage one detection, or a cancer symptom caught a little too late.
Article Table of Contents
- What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?
- Why Is An Oral Cancer Screening Important?
- What Are Risk Factors For Oral Cancer?
- Are There Any Ways To Avoid Oral Cancer?
What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?
During a dental exam, your dentist will check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red/white patches, or recurring sore areas.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer are:
- A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
- A red or white patch on gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth
- Bleeding, numbness, or pain in lips or mouth\
- A lump or thickening on lips or gums
- A change in voice
- Loose teeth - or dentures that no longer fit well
- Swelling of jaw
- A sore throat
- A feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty moving jaw or tongue
A thorough oral cancer screening takes less than five minutes.
While your dentist can't diagnose you during the exam, if there are any concerns, a sample of your tissue is sent to a lab for further testing.
Detecting cancer during the early stages is crucial for successful treatment.
When found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% survival rate.
The best thing you can do for your health and future is to get an oral cancer screening.
After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
There are health issues or lifestyle choices that could increase your chances of getting oral cancer.
Some of the risks factors include:
- Tobacco use of any kind including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco alternatives, and others
- Heavy alcohol use
- Excessive sun exposure to your lips
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- A weakened immune system
The combination of smoking with heavy alcohol consumption (30+ drinks a week) is the primary risk of oral cancer.
The dangerous mixture is estimated to be the main trigger for 75% of oral cancer diagnoses.
Other lifestyle and environmental factors also may increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
How can you best avoid oral cancer?
It's as simple as practicing good oral hygiene and getting screened regularly.
Of course, not using tobacco or consuming high amounts of alcohol is a smart idea as well.
Your dentist is your first line of defense in identifying abnormalities in the mouth, which could be signs of oral cancer.
Book Your Oral Cancer Screening Now!
At Hylan Dental Care, we make oral cancer screenings a routine part of your regular dental visits.
If you are located in the greater Cleveland area and wish to book a check-up and oral cancer exam with us, click the button below to get started!