Oral Cancer Screening
When we closely inspect your mouth during your twice a year regular visits to our clinic, we don’t just focus on your teeth and gums. We also take this opportunity to check for early signs of oral cancer. It’s important that such signs are caught early, so that you can be diagnosed properly and the appropriate treatment can be started as soon as possible. In our oral cancer screening, it’s even possible that we may find precancerous signs that may merit a closer check of your mouth for the onset of oral cancer.
The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
This part of our regular checkup of your mouth isn’t at all trivial. Every year, about 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer according to the estimates of the oral Cancer Foundation. Among this number, about 10,000 people don’t last for another year. About 21,500 of them won’t last 5 years.
The death rate for oral cancer is much greater than many other types of cancer. It’s not as if it’s difficult to discover and diagnose oral cancer, however. It’s just that for the most part the oral cancer is only diagnosed when it has progressed too far.
It’s for this reason that we automatically include oral cancer screening as part of our regular checkups. Like many other types of cancers, your chances of lasting much longer against this type of cancer increases when it’s discovered earlier in its progression. Our screening helps in detecting the signs of oral cancer, and this can enable a quick diagnosis of the condition so that your physician can start the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself if you want to know if you’re a more likely candidate to get oral cancer:
- Do you use tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, snuff, and chewing tobacco?
- Do you drink a lot?
- Are you often exposed to the sun on a daily basis?
- Have you been previously diagnosed with oral cancer?
If you answer “yes” to most or even to just one of these questions, you’re more likely to get oral cancer than your average individual. At least we’re doing our part to help. You can do your part too, by quitting tobacco at the very least and by moderating your alcohol intake. Doing these things won’t just help against oral cancer, but it can make you live a lot longer too.