Oral cancer is more serious than you might think, and according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to reduce the number of deaths related to oral cancer every year is by receiving regular screenings for the disease. Be sure to schedule one at El Paso Periodontics and Implant Specialists the next time you are due for a checkup in El Paso, TX. After all, this simple screening could save your life.
How are oral cancer screenings performed?
An oral cancer screening takes just a few minutes to complete. It is a very safe and comfortable screening that consists of both a visual and a physical exam. Your dentist will look for warning signs of oral cancer, such as:
- Changes in color or texture to the soft tissue, as well as lumps or bumps
- Sores in the soft tissue that do not heal over time
- Difficulty swallowing even when not eating or a chronically hoarse voice
- Swelling or inflammation in the lymph nodes
Your dentist may also ask you some questions about your oral health to determine whether or not you are suffering from oral cancers that are not presenting obvious visual clues. These questions may be about having a sore throat, hoarseness, other changes in voice, and bad tastes in the mouth. He or she may also ask about lifestyle habits to determine your risk for developing oral cancer in the future.
What are oral cancer screenings important?
Though it is not heard about as often as other types of cancer, one person dies every hour in the US from oral cancer, and only about half of those who are diagnosed with the disease this year will live five years beyond their diagnosis. According to researchers, as with many diseases, an early diagnosis is the key to reducing the number of oral cancer-related deaths. To get an early diagnosis, it’s important for patients to get to their dentist office for regular screenings. It’s recommended that these screenings occur every six months, along with regular dental exams and cleanings. By keeping up with this important test, you can increase your chances of receiving an early diagnosis and therefore increase the chances of successful treatment.
Make an appointment at El Paso Periodontics and Implant Specialists for your oral cancer screening in El Paso, TX.