Oral Cancer Screenings
No one wants to think about cancer. However, whether we want to think about it or not, cancer will happen to us or to someone we love. Nearly 40% of adults will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lifetimes. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of cancer, and to increase your survivability from cancer is to get regular cancer screenings.
Some cancer screenings are easier than others - we won’t even get into the screening for colon cancer, for example. There is one type of cancer screening that we can take off your plate without ever thinking about it. It’s called oral cancer screening, and we check on you for that every six months. If you are not sure how oral cancer screening works, give BayView Dental a minute to explain to you the importance of oral cancer screening, and how we take care of that for you in our office.
Why Do I Need Oral Cancer Screening?
We do an oral cancer screening for you when you come into our office for your regular checkups. Most of the time, oral cancer screening doesn’t take long at all. This is especially true if you are not in a high-risk category for oral cancer. You are considered high risk if you have had a history of oral cancer, if you use tobacco products, or if you drink alcohol heavily.
If you are not in a risk category, we check your mouth for bumps or spots that might be early warning signs of cancer. If you are at high risk, our checking might be a little more extensive. We might have you drink a solution to see if you have visible bumps or spots in your mouth. We might also shine a light in your mouth to check for bumps or sores as well.
The Importance of Screening
We check you for oral cancer every six months because if we catch it early, it is much better for you in terms of treatment. When it begins, oral cancer is not painful. It starts as a small bump or a sore. Sometimes, these sores can look like canker sores or bumps along your gumline or inside your cheek. Because it isn’t painful when it begins, oral cancer might Nearly, and that is dangerous. Oral cancer can spread quickly if it is not found and treated with radiation or surgery. If we catch it early, your chances of survival are high. If it isn’t caught until later, your chances of survival are much lower. The earlier we catch oral cancer, the sooner we can get you into treatment.
Do you have a history of tobacco use? Are you a heavy drinker? Have you previously been diagnosed with oral cancer? Alternatively, have you had HPV? Any of these risk factors makes it that much more important you get checked for oral cancer. If you are worried about your risk for oral cancer, give BayView Dental a call at one of our 7 convenient locations. Let us make you an appointment to get screened for cancer so you can put your mind at ease.