Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer strikes tens of thousands of people in the United States each year. More than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and over 13,000 will die from the disease. Worldwide, oral cancer is diagnosed in half a million people each year. If you smoke, chew, or dip, you are at a greater risk for oral cancer. However, there are things that you can do that will help you reduce your risk. One of those things you can do to reduce your risk is to get an oral cancer screening. Here is more information from Lincoln Center Smiles about oral cancer screening.
What Does Screening Do?
While we look at everybody’s mouth in our dental practice, we need to pay particular attention to people who may be at risk for oral cancer. If you are at risk for oral cancer, we want to prevent it as much as possible.
We will check your mouth twice a year for signs of oral cancer, or a precancerous condition. There are signs of oral cancer in your mouth that we can easily see. Mouth cancers can begin small, as a lesion someplace in your mouth. Oral cancers can also appear as a bump. These lesions or bumps don’t hurt, so you wouldn’t notice them easily. By the time they do begin to hurt, the cancer is more advanced, and not as easily treatable. The sooner we can spot a bump or a lesion, the more quickly we can get you into treatment, which means you have a better chance at recovery.
If you have risk factors for oral cancer, it is best to make sure we do a cancer screening for you each time you come in. If you are a smoker, or you use tobacco in some form, you are at a higher risk of oral cancer. You can also raise your risk by drinking a lot of alcohol. If you have already had oral cancer once, you have a greater chance of getting it again.
The Screening for Oral Cancer
Although it has the potential to save your life, the oral cancer screening is very simple. You will be checked for oral cancer each time you come in for your regular checkup. The sides of your mouth, your tongue and your upper and lower palates are most at risk for developing oral cancer. We will closely look at those structures for signs of oral cancer. If we see something suspicious, we may need to do additional testing.
We can shine a light in your mouth to look for cancer. We can also have you rinse your mouth with blue liquid. Both of these tests will show any abnormal cells. If we see abnormal cells, we can refer you for more tests. Do you have concerns about your oral health? Are you a tobacco user? If you are, we can help. Give Lincoln Center Smiles a call at (503) 598-0898. That way, we can get your mouth checked out for oral cancer and give you peace of mind.