In the U.S., close to 50 thousand cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. The survival rate over 5 years is approximately 57%, a figure which hasn’t had much improvement in decades.
The high death rate associated with oral cancer isn’t high because of difficult diagnosis but because it’s discovered late in most cases. In the US, not even a single comprehensive program exists which screens for the diseases so it’s up to you to get the oral cancer screening done.
How Your Dentist Can Help In Spotting Oral Cancer
Regular dental visits can do more than just protecting your smile; they can save your life. Although the recommendation for oral health is to visit the dentist at least once, there’s no consensus on how often oral cancer screenings should be held.
If diagnosed early, oral cancer can be treated successfully. 84% of the cases can be detected by a dentist so schedule an oral cancer screening with your dentist now!
During oral cancer screening, the dentist will check for sores or discoloration in your mouth. They’ll then look for lumps or abnormalities. Further testing is conducted to find other abnormalities.
How To Know If You’re At Risk?
Some of the most common signs include lumps, discoloration, rough spots, unexplained numbness, chronic sore throat, difficulty in eating, and chronic earaches.
However, these symptoms may also be an indication of less serious problems but it’s important to rule out oral cancer first.
Regular screenings are even more important if you use tobacco, chew betel quid or drink alcohol. When it comes to oral cancer, another common cause is HPV which can be transmitted during oral sex.
Reasons To Get Oral Cancer Screening Done
If the dentist incorporates the screening in the regular checkup, there are no expenses unless follow-up is required.
Oral cancer can be a devastating disease but keeping a check on it can save your life. Early diagnosis makes it easier to survive oral cancer; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
At Dana Keith DDS and Associates, we conduct oral cancer screenings regularly. Our screenings involve comprehensive testing and checking for any symptoms and we’ll ensure your satisfaction. You can get in touch with us online or give a call at (301) 236-9000.