Oral Cancer Screenings
It used to be thought that only people who smoked, used other forms of tobacco products, or drank developed oral cancer. Today, however, we now know that oral cancer can affect others as well. While some people are atgreater risk, the disease can affect anyone. The sooner oral cancer is found and treated, the greater your chances of success and survival. At Tim Perry, DDS, we can detect the early stages of oral cancer with oral cancer screenings.
Why is Early Detection So Important?
When it comes to oral cancer, early detection is key. The sooner the disease is detected, the easier and more effective the treatment. In cases of early detection and treatment, the survival rate of oral cancer is as high as 90%. The later oral cancer is detected and treated, the more difficult treatment. This is because the cancer has begun to spread. As the cancer spreads, survival rates go down significantly.
Reasons for an Oral Cancer Screening
The main reason for oral cancer screenings is the fact that they help to detect the early warning signs of oral cancer, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment. Getting these screenings is quick, simple, and completely pain-free. Screenings are affordable.
In most cases, they are built right into the cost of a routine dental exam, which is covered by most dental insurance plans. Detecting oral cancer in its early stages can be life-saving. Even if you don’t have oral cancer, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
How a Dentist Can Detect Oral Cancer
We can help to detect warning signs of oral cancer with a simple visual inspection of the soft tissues in your mouth during your routine dental exams. We look at your gums, tongue, cheeks, and the tissues at the back of your mouth. However, what are we looking for? We are looking for anything unusual, such as a growth or sore.
If we do detect anything unusual, you will need an additional exam. This exam is important for diagnosing the presence of oral cancer. Just because we find something unusual, that does not mean that it is oral cancer. The growth or sore could be benign or non-cancerous. Testing for oral cancer may include a biopsy or imaging. Should oral cancer be diagnosed, we can then help you to get the treatment you need.
Does Everyone Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are generally done once a year, starting at the age of 18, regardless of risk factors. The actual frequency of these screenings will depend upon your age and your risk factors. Those who are at greater risk, including those who smoke or those who drink heavily, may require screenings more often, just to be on the safe side. Additionally, if you find anything suspicious in your mouth between your regular appointments that you are worried about, you can always schedule an exam, and we will check it out.
Detection and treatment of oral cancer in its earliest stages is essential. For more information, call Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.