To protect your oral and overall health, you know that regular care from your dentist is important, which is why you schedule an appointment twice a year. However, these visits are necessary for another reason other than just healthy teeth and gums. They also provide the opportunity to have an oral cancer screening. With more than 9,700 people killed every year from oral cancer, it is vital to have a screening twice a year during your preventive appointment.
Dangers of Oral Cancer
Although you do not often hear about oral cancer, more than 49,000 people will be diagnosed with one this year. Unfortunately, only a little more than half of those will survive for five years or longer. The long-term prognosis is bleak due to late diagnosis. Often, it is not found until it has reached the advanced stages or metastasized to other areas of the body. In fact, those with the cancer have a 20 times higher risk for developing a secondary cancer in another area.
While oral cancers are not widely discussed, they make up about 85% of all head and neck cancers, not including those of the brain. Although cancer treatments have improved over the years, oral cancers continue to result in about one death per 24-hour period. However, with early diagnosis, the long-term outcome can improve.
Currently, there are no guidelines in place to specify how often the screening should be performed. As a result, many patients do not even know that they are available, allowing the cancer to go undetected until it is too aggressive to completely treat.
Benefit from an Oral Cancer Screening
It is estimated that you should have an oral cancer screening every six months at your preventive dental appointment, or at the very least, once a year. Your dentist offers a simple screening to detect cancerous and precancerous cells early for promote diagnosis and treatment.
During the screening, they will conduct an examination to look for irregularities of the mouth and oral areas, such as bumps, sores, or rough patches. In addition, they will look for unusual plaque or changes to the facial shape. While it may seem simple, it is highly effective to detect cancer early.
Get an Oral Cancer Screening Today!
To protect your overall health, it is important to ask your dentist about an oral cancer screening at your next preventive appointment. In just a few extra minutes, you can take an extra step to protect your overall health and your smile.
About Dr. Makadia
Dr. Makadia is committed to providing quality dental care to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy smile. In addition to receiving his dental education from the New York University College of Dentistry, he completed a post graduate program in fixed and removable orthodontics, a clinical program in the science of oral implantology, and completed more than 500 hours of continued dental education. Through his qualifications, he provides an array of specialized services, including oral cancer screenings. If you have any questions about the screening process, contact Sunrise Dental Service today.