Is oral cancer on your radar? According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one person dies in the United States every hour due to oral cancer. At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we urge patients not to wait until they experience multiple symptoms of oral cancer, as it can often be too late. Oral cancer is highly treatable, but only if it is caught at its earliest stages. A simple and painless oral cancer screening at your dental office each year can be all you need to avoid fatal consequences of this disease.
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screenings are so quick and easy that many patients aren’t even aware that we’ve screened them. We like to conduct this evaluation during routine dental checkups. Dr. Gilreath will take a careful examination of all parts of your mouth, including areas that are difficult to see on your own. It is important to recognize physical signs of oral cancer such as:
- Rough patches
- Red and white bumps
- Hard lumps
If you have a mouth sore that is not healing on its own (longer than 14 days), we also want to know about it, as this can be a sign of oral cancer. If a suspicious lesion is detected inside your mouth, we can schedule the proper biopsy to confirm a diagnosis. Again, if detected early, oral cancer treatment has an excellent success rate.
Who is Most at Risk?
Oral cancer can affect anyone. However, just like other cancers, there are certain factors that can make you more at risk for mouth cancer, including the following:
- Men over 50
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Tobacco users (including chew, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products)
- HPV infection
If you are identified as a high-risk for oral cancer, we encourage you to get screened for oral cancer more frequently. For all other patients, oral cancer screening should be performed annually. How long has it been since you had yours? Call Gilreath Family Dentistry in Marietta today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,