Oral Cancer Screening
One of the services we provide here at Cherry Creek Dental Spa is oral cancer screening. The purpose of this test is to check for early signs of cancer or even precancerous conditions in your mouth.
It’s estimated by the Oral Cancer Foundation that almost 50,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer each year. Within the year, this condition will cause close to 10,000 deaths. About 43% of these newly diagnosed patients won’t be alive in 5 years.
This death rate is much higher than that of other types of cancers, such as thyroid cancers, testicular cancer, laryngeal cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cervical cancer. Historically, this high death rate is not because the disease is difficult to diagnose or discover. It’s because it’s routinely discovered too late in the disease’s progression.
Like many other type of cancers, oral cancer has a greater chance of a cure when it is diagnosed and treated much earlier. That’s the point of oral cancer screening. We check for signs of oral cancer so that we can confirm the diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible.
Are You at Risk?
Some people are much more in need of oral cancer screening than others. Here are the risk factors:
- Tobacco use. This doesn’t just mean smoking cigarettes. It also includes cigars and pipes along with snuff and chewing tobacco.
- Alcohol use.
- A previous diagnosis for oral cancer. Those who survive the first encounter with oral cancer are 20 times more likely to develop the condition again.
- Frequent sun exposure. Sun exposure can increase one’s risk of lip cancer.
It may seem like the risk of getting oral cancer isn’t all that high, given that there are only 50,000 cases out of 323 million people in the US. But why risk it? Our dental practice doesn’t believe it’s a potential problem that you should ignore, which is why we always recommend oral cancer screening to our patients.
If you haven’t undergone one yet, make an appointment for a consultation. Delaying this simple procedure just doesn’t make sense at all.