If you’re between the ages of 25 and 50, you should consider getting an oral cancer screening at your next dental appointment. Screenings are quick and easy, and they could potentially save you from the damaging effects of oral cancer. Though oral cancer was once thought to mostly affect older men with a history of tobacco use, it has begun to rise within younger patients.
As oral cancer is becoming more common in younger people, getting a screening is all the more important. Getting checked sooner than later could be extremely beneficial too. If oral cancer is caught soon enough, it can often be successfully treated. Take a moment to learn more about the importance of oral cancer screenings and how you can check for signs and symptoms. Spring Valley Dental Care will gladly fill you in.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
As mentioned, oral cancer is on the rise within younger people. Regardless of the reason why, oral cancer screenings can potentially detect the issue early on, which makes treatment more feasible. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. On top of that, it’s estimated that oral cancer will cause over 9,000 deaths in 2016, which is more than cervical cancer and melanoma. With numbers like these, the importance of oral cancer screenings is quite clear.
A dental health professional, such as Dr. Boyer, can detect oral cancer and treat it promptly. In fact, nearly 85% of cases can be detected! Within oral cancer screenings, Dr. Boyer will use a variety of tools to assess your mouth, look for sores or discoloration, and feel the tissues in and around your mouth for lumps. If anything is detected, it’ll be sent to the lab for testing. Now, let’s take a look at common risk factors and symptoms.
Oral Cancer: Risk Factors and Symptoms
While oral cancer screenings should be done once a year, there are plenty of risk factors and symptoms that may increase your need for a screening. Obviously, if you notice any of the symptoms to follow, you’ll need to come in immediately. If any risk factors apply to you, yearly cancer screenings are that much more necessary. Risk factors are listed below:
- Age (40+ patients have a higher risk)
- Smoking and/or tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Gender (men are more prone)
Symptoms of oral cancer:
- Red or white patches throughout the mouth
- Lumps within the mouth
- Inexplicable bleeding
- Numbness in mouth, face, or neck
- Problems chewing and swallowing or even moving the tongue
- Ear pain
Get an Oral Cancer Screening at Spring Valley Dental Care!
As you can see, oral cancer is not a matter to take lightly. This very serious issue needs to be detected early on, but it can only be detected if you come in for regular oral cancer screenings. If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above or any risk factors apply to you, you should come into our office as soon as possible. Here, we use the VisiLite Oral Cancer Detection system, which helps differentiate between healthy and abnormal tissue. This detection system is very effective and Dr. Boyer is proud to be able to offer it to his patients.
Give Spring Valley Dental a call at 619.670.4471 to schedule a screening today. You can also contact us here.