Every year, about 53,000 American adults are diagnosed with oral cancer. More than 10,000 of those diagnosed die from the disease. Early identification is essential to treatment, which is why you should be regularly screened. Here’s more about oral cancer screenings and how your dentist can minimize your risk.
Why You Should Be Screened for Oral Cancer
1. Screening Is Simple
Screening for oral cancer is a noninvasive process that can be done at your dentist’s office. Many of its symptoms are visible and include sores, irritation, red or white patches, or lumps in the mouth. Your dentist can look for these signs and ask about your medical history. They’ll also inquire about non-visible symptoms like pain or numbness in the mouth or difficulty chewing or swallowing. This screening can occur during your regular dental cleaning.
2. Screening Can Be Life-Saving
The earlier oral cancer is detected, the more effective the treatment. The ASCO reports that the overall 5-year survival rate for oral cancer is 65 percent. However, when it is detected in an early stage, that survival rate increases to 83 percent. As a result, oral cancer screening can potentially save your life.
3. You Can Learn About Your Risk Factors
Most individuals who develop oral cancer have at least one risk factor. Smoking, excessive drinking, and being older than 50 increase the risk. Individuals with HPV are also more likely to develop the disease. During a screening, your dentist can discuss your lifestyle and medical conditions and highlight any risk factors you may have, which can increase your awareness of the disease and encourage you to take preventative measures.
For a dental checkup and oral cancer screening, visit Darr Dentistry in Thomasville, NC. They offer a range of dental services, including regular cleanings and screenings, fillings, crowns, bridges, whitening treatments, and dental implants. To learn more about them or to schedule an appointment, call (336) 475-1614. Visit their website to take a look at their treatment options.