Were you screened for oral cancer at your last dental check-up?
A common misconception among dental patients is that there’s no need for an oral cancer screening if you aren’t a smoker or drinker. While tobacco and alcohol use are risk factors for oral cancer, they aren’t the only causes. In fact, there are many other predisposing factors that may increase a person’s susceptibility to the deadly disease, such as:
- Sun exposure
- Certain types of viruses (such as HPV)
Unfortunately, oral cancer can be found in some of the healthiest individuals to ever step into the dentist’s office.
Skipping the oral cancer screening is never an option. Here’s why:
Early Diagnosis is Key
The sooner a precancerous or abnormal tissue can be identified, the sooner treatment can start. This makes treatment more successful, as the cancer is caught before it has an opportunity to spread further into the head.
Oral Cancer Starts Out Very Small
Early warning signs of oral cancer are easy to go unnoticed. They may look like small white or red spots, patches of skin, or sores that do not heal. Because they appear visibly small, they’re easy to look over until it has had the chance to progress to a more severe stage.
Most Patients Don’t Find Cancer On Their Own Until it is too Late
By the time a patient notices difficulties swallowing, swelling, lumps, or significant sores – chances are that the oral cancer has progressed. Seeking out professional help at this point means that the cancer has already had an opportunity to spread further into the body.
Unfortunately, the mortality rate for oral cancer is extremely high. Late diagnosis could mean the difference in whether or not treatment is even successful.
You owe it to yourself and your family to have an oral cancer screening at least twice each year. If you’re looking for dentists in Centennial, CO who offer oral cancer screenings, then consider calling Dr. Kathleen Young at Young Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
We perform a thorough pathology screening during every patient check-up, every 6 months.
Don’t put it off another day– call us right away to schedule your next checkup at our office.