Oral Cancer Screening
Anyone who is a certain age has had at least once cancer screening. Think about it for a minute. If you have a history of childhood cancer in your family, you may have been screened for childhood cancer when you were very young. As you age, you might get screened for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer or skin cancer. However, did you know there is one kind of cancer you get screened for all your life? There is. It’s oral cancer. We check you for oral cancer every six months. Give Christensen Family Dentistry a minute of your time to tell you about oral cancer screening.
What Is Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is done twice a year when you come in for your regular checkups. For many patients, oral cancer screening does not take much time. This is especially true if you have no history of smoking or heavy drinking. We will look at your mouth, gums, and structures in your mouth for bumps or spots. It is these bumps or spots in your mouth that could develop into cancer.
If you have a history of oral cancer, smoking, using other tobacco products, or heavy drinking, our tests might be a little more time-consuming. Sometimes we can shine a light in your mouth too see if there is anything unusual. We might also have you drink some blue solution so that if there is anything unusual in your mouth, it will be visible.
Oral cancer screenings don’t take much time at all. However, they are very important.
Why Are Those Oral Cancer Screening So Important?
Oral cancer screenings are invaluable. That’s because oral cancer is undetectable when it is very small. Oral cancer looks a lot like a simple bump or a mouth sore when it is small. You may think you have a very small canker sore or a bump along your gumline. Oral cancer can also appear like a flat place along your inner cheek. A lot of people think that cancer is painful. However, oral cancer is not painful at all when it begins.
The problem is that oral cancer is very dangerous. If we can catch it early, it is very treatable. It is treated through surgery and radiation. If we can catch cancer early, the survival rate is very high. However, if oral cancer is not caught early, it can be life-threatening. Oral cancer can also be disfiguring if it is allowed to spread. However, if we check your mouth every six months, and we test areas in your mouth that are suspicious, we will be able to spot cancer quickly, and quickly get you into treatment.
If you have had a history of tobacco use, heavy drinking, or you have had oral cancer, you may want to have a more extensive cancer screening - we’d be happy to do that for you. People who have had HPV are also at a higher risk of oral cancer. Are you worried about your risk of oral cancer? Give Christensen Family Dentistrya call at (480) 964-2131. That way, we can make you an appointment to come in for a screening.