Why We Look for Signs of Oral Cancer During Each Full Exam
Posted on 5/25/2019 by Bisson Dentistry
Each year, nearly 53,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S., and of those newly diagnosed individuals, there is only a 57% five-year survival rate.
Unfortunately, this number has not shown any significant improvement in decades, so early detection is essential in order for a successful outcome. That is why we always look for signs of oral cancer during each full exam that we perform in our office.
What Happens during an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are physical and visual exams that check for signs of oral cancer. These regular screenings can help to identify mouth cancer in its earliest stages when it is easiest to remove and treat. The process is relatively straightforward, and it involves us examining the inside of your mouth to look for white or red patches and sores. We will also check for lumps and bumps by feeling the inside tissues of your mouth.
Are You at an Increased Risk for Oral Cancer?
While we perform oral cancer screenings on all of our patients, some will be at an increased risk for the disease. This includes patients who have any tobacco use, including chewing tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes. Heavy alcohol use is also a risk factor, as is significant sun exposure. If you previously had an oral cancer diagnosis, it is also especially important that we inspect your mouth regularly.
What Are the Signs of Oral Cancer?
The scary thing about oral cancer is that it doesn't always come with obvious symptoms. In other cases, signs can be hidden in areas of your mouth that you won't be able to see, but our exams can detect them. However, if you notice small white, black, or red sores that last for at two weeks or longer, you should be sure to point out this area of concern to us.
Are you concerned about mouth sores or simply need an oral cancer screening? If so, call us today to set up your appointment.
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199 Woolwich Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3V4 (226) 299-0713