Include an Oral Cancer Screening in Your 6 Month Checkup
According to the American Cancer Society, 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. As with any form of cancer, the key to effective treatment is catching the disease early. That’s what having a regular oral cancer screening with our dentist is critically important to your oral and overall health.
What Are the Signs of Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer begins with an asymptomatic stage that doesn’t frequently display the normal cancer symptoms. The disease can be found in the:
- Salivary glans
There are a number of oral cancer types, but malignant carcinoma is the most common. Though you may not present obvious symptoms, your dentist will look for the following during your oral cancer screening:
- Leukoplakia: These hard, grey lesions can be cancerous or grow cancerous without treatment. They may also be white and/or slightly raised.
- Sores and patches: Red, white or pink patches on the tongue or mouth floor may indicate cancerous activity, especially when the areas are slow to heal.
- Lumps: Tender lumps or other signs of tissue thickening make also indicate cancer related issues.
When Should You Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
You should get a cancer screening with your regular dental checkups, which translates to every 6 months. This level of frequency will ensure any potential issues are caught early and you receive timely treatment. However, if you notice any instances of slow healing sores, lumps or leukoplakia, make an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible. These signs do not definitively indicate cancerous activity, but it’s always best to be safe.
What Is an Oral Cancer Exam?
An oral cancer exam is a quick and painless process for every patient. To start, our dentist will look for visually detectable abnormalities like bumps in the glands, neck or face. Occasionally, lasers may be used to pinpoint any possible pathological (cancerous) changes. Lasers are excellent tools for this process because they can look below the surface.
If any cause for concern is detected, your dental professional will devise implement a treatment plan and diagnostic impression. If necessary, a biopsy of the area will be performed to determine the diagnosis. The following treatment is made on case by case basis.
Serving Fort Washington, Oreland, Ambler, Dresher & Surrounding
Schedule your next oral cancer screening along with your next bi-annual visit. To make an appointment with our dentist or ask any questions, just give us a call at 215.643.0363 and we’ll find a time that works for you. Conveniently located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.