Your Best Response When Asked About an Oral Cancer Screening
“Can I get a…”
If you’re wondering what I’m looking for, it’s “a YES!”
In fact that’s the best response to being asked if you want an oral cancer screening. No other answer can help eliminate your risk like “a yes.”
Oral cancer awareness demands a proactive response. Why?
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation thousands of deaths can be prevented each year by agreeing to a simple, quick, in-office oral cancer screening.
Is your mouth causing you problems?
It might surprise you to know this. But a significant amount of your healthy lifestyle (or otherwise) is connected to your mouth.
Preventing oral cancer begins there. Your mouth, throat, and tongue are among the most vulnerable places in your body.
Approximately 90 percent of diagnosed oral cancer cases can be traced to lifestyle choices. Most common are tobacco and alcohol use.
Another statistic is startling.
Research is finding that oral cancer is emerging among non-tobacco users and among those who drink alcohol less frequently.
The human papilloma virus (HPV16) is now being targeted as a leading cause of oral cancer cases.
And that’s not all…
Your oral cancer risk increases as result of a few other causes. Poor or neglected dental care, your diet, and being over exposed to ultra-violet radiation can lead to oral cancer as well.
When to pay attention
There are early and visible warning signs for oral cancer. It’s essential that you’re aware of any changes or suspicious looking problems in your mouth, on your tongue, or in your throat.
You might not experience any painful symptoms. Be aware of any lesions or sores in your mouth that linger and do not heal after two or more weeks.
Other symptoms to notice include:
- Red or white skin patches in your mouth
- Thickened skin or a noticeable lump in your mouth or on your tongue
- A sense of numbness in your face, neck, or mouth
- The feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Bleeding in your mouth
- A consistent sore throat
A vital step beyond awareness
Your routine dental examinations and teeth cleanings are a good reminder to increase your oral cancer awareness. The professional observation by your dentist and dental hygienist can detect any mouth, tongue, or throat abnormalities.
Awareness is vital but an oral cancer screening is your best solution for eliminating your risk. The screening is fast, painless, and can be included as a part of your routine examination and teeth cleaning appointment or during a routine check-up if you’re a denture wearer.
An oral cancer screening will detect any abnormal tissue areas. Suspicious tissue will be sent for a biopsy to determine if follow-up treatment will be necessary.
Be proactive about your oral health. Say “yes” to an oral cancer screening.
Contact your Bronx and Morris Park dentist at (718) DR-SMILE (718-377-6453) about an oral cancer screening for you and your family. Click here to schedule a dental examination and teeth cleaning and request a screening during your appointment.