Oral Cancer Screenings
While not widely discussed, more than 40,000 people are affected each year by oral cancer, and one person every hour will lose their lives to it. Like any cancer, early detection is key to treatment and survival. An oral cancer screening is a simple and painless procedure that can be performed by our dentists and may mean the difference between life or death. This is another good reason not to avoid your regular dental screenings, and if you have never had an oral screening for cancer, there is no better time than the present. Like any cancer, awareness is crucial and timing is everything. Below we have provided a guide to oral cancer screenings and the processes involved.
What’s involved in an oral cancer screening?
An oral cancer screening is usually carried out during your bi-annual visit. The screening will include searching for any unusual bumps on your inner cheek, tongue, or gums. Your dentist will also look for and ask about any soreness within your mouth. Your dentist will also check for any signs of oral cancer in your head and face. If any signs are found, they will perform what is known as an oral brush biopsy. This painless procedure can determine if further tests are needed.
What are some common symptoms of oral cancer?
There are a few simple signs and symptoms you should pay attention to. These can warn you that you need to be checked for oral cancer:
- Bleeding of the mouth
- Sores on the inner cheek or gums that have not healed within a couple of weeks
These are all signs that need to be brought up to your dental professional. Those patients who do have oral cancer have been known to also experience ear pain, difficulty swallowing, and red or white patches on the gums. In some rare cases, sufferers have also complained about their jaw not moving as it should, and also that their teeth seemed be improperly aligned.
Why are oral cancer screenings important?
Simply put, it is important to have an oral cancer screening because it has been proven that more people die from oral cancer each year than do from some of the more commonly known cancers in the world. There is no good reason to avoid getting screened for this disease, as the procedure is painless and could potentially save your life. No one ever thinks cancer will happen to them, which is why it is important to be screened as soon as possible. Early treatment is key to having a positive outcome.
Please call 512-331-1477 or email us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Justin D’Abadie or Dr. Jaya Hiremath. Oral cancer screenings should be conducted annually in order to ensure that this life threatening cancer is detected early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. Drs. D’Abadie and Jaya Hiremath have performed a number of oral cancer screenings throughout their years of dental practice and can help to diagnose patients who have this potentially fatal disease in time to make a difference.