Prevent Oral Cancer Through Comprehensive Screenings
Oral cancer testing is an important service offered by Redwood Dental. You may not hear very much about oral cancer in the news like you do about breast cancer and other types, but it’s just as deadly and tragic. In fact, oral cancer kills one individual once every hour every single day.
The danger in oral cancer lies not in its high number but in the fact that it’s usually not found until it’s too late. Once it reaches an advanced stage, you only have a 6 in 10 chance of surviving after five years of obtaining treatment.
Fortunately, there’s a test you can take to see if you suffer from oral cancer, and you can get it right at your dentist’s office. This test is great because it boosts the survival rate to more than 80 percent. Best part is, you can get oral cancer testing as part of your regular dental visits. It doesn’t hurt, it’s a quick exam, and it saves lives. The dentist will exam your mouth, lips and tongue to look for any changes in the lining tissues – all through a manual and visual exam. He or she will be on the lookout for red or white patches and sores, as well as any lumps or swellings, using a special light or dye. Your tongue will be thoroughly checked as well.
If the dentist has a concern about a particular area, a small, painless sample can be taken right then and there.
Most Insurance Accepted Including:
Early Detection Is The Key
In between dental visits, there are things you can do on your part to stay abreast of any changes in your mouth, tongue or lips. Be on the lookout for abnormal sores or changes of color in the tissue.
These are typical symptoms of oral cancer; that being said, most of those things are benign and will go away with time (usually a few weeks). However, you shouldn’t discount any changes. It’s best to see your dentist right away with any concerns. Better to be safe than sorry!
The keys to detecting and treating oral cancer include early diagnosis through screenings and accurate diagnose via a laboratory report.
Those at Risk
You may think oral cancer is something that afflicts only older adults. While the majority of cases involve people over the age of 40, more and more young people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. In fact, young people make up the fastest-growing segment among oral cancer patients, mostly caused by the spread of the Human Papilloma Virus—a sexually-transmitted disease.
The same risk factors apply to all age groups. You are at increased risk for oral cancer if you:
- Are middle aged or older
- Drink alcohol excessively
- Engage in long-term exposure to the sun (which can lead to cancer of the lips)
When you call Redwood Dental to make your six-month checkup appointment, be sure to mention you want an oral cancer screening as well. The dentist would be happy to oblige for your peace of mind. Call us today at (800) 462-2222.