Oral Cancer Screening
More than 40,000 people are affected by oral cancer every year. This type of cancer can occur at any place in the mouth. In addition to smoking, chewing tobacco products, and alcohol consumption, other risk factors that may increase one's chances of developing oral cancer include the human papillomavirus (HPV). Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer and the risk increases with age. There is a 60% five-year survival rate for oral cancer. Be proactive by getting checked now. Our specialists at Singing River Dentistry are able to spot areas of concern you may miss during self-screening.
Why Screenings Are Important
During your regular dental examinations, ask your dentist to check for signs of oral cancer. This can save your life. If oral cancer is detected early, it can increase your chances of survival by 20 percent. If oral cancer is detected early, it has a survival rate of 80 to 90 percent. However, if it is caught in the later stages, the death rate is high.
The treatment is relatively inexpensive. If follow-up procedures are not necessary, there is no extra charge for an oral cancer examination included in your regular exam. Most insurance plans cover preventive services including your semi-annual cleaning. Taking precautions is better than being sorry. When most insurance plans cover preventive care, isn't it better to prevent dangerous conditions and promote good oral health?
Detecting Oral Cancer
The most effective way to detect oral cancer is through routine dental screenings. Dental specialists from our practice evaluate all areas of your mouth to spot any abnormalities within the oral cavity. You may notice some symptoms, while others go unnoticed. Among these would be lumps or lesions that are not healing (such as ulcers or red or white patches in the mouth). There is no requirement that these types of lesions are painful. It is possible that the lesions could grow and become painful over time. In order to determine the nature of any lesions or lumps you may be experiencing, we strongly urge you to make an appointment at our office.
Preventing Oral Cancer
The best thing to do is to avoid all tobacco products and drink as little alcohol as possible. It is important for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, getting physical exercise, maintaining good oral hygiene (brush twice per day, floss once per day), and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams every six months.
Make sure you do not wait any longer to get your oral cancer screening. It is very important that you request a screening at our dental office, Singing River Dentistry, whenever you visit our office. It is time if you have not had a dental screening for a year that you make an appointment at our dental office. The next time you come for your regular dental checkups and cleanings, you will be checked for signs of oral cancer. Call us at (256) 904-4220 to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening.