Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Feb 01, 2021

Oral cancer is on the rise, and it is up to us to protect ourselves from it and get treatment at the right time. Currently, there are over 50,000 oral cancer cases every year in the United States. Unfortunately, over 10,000 succumb to the disease every year.

Early detection of the disease drastically increases the chances of successfully treating it, and that’s why oral cancer screening near you is so important. We understand how the word cancer can be intimidating, but it is important not to get intimidated and to get screenings frequently.

The oral cancer screening procedure is fast and painless, and it can be included in your routine dental exams and cleanings. The screenings do not necessarily prevent patients from succumbing to the disease, but they do increase the chances of conquering it. In this blog, we will discuss oral cancer screening in detail to help you make an informed decision.

Fast Facts About Oral Cancer

  • Most victims of oral cancer are due to late diagnosis.
  • Over 40 percent of persons diagnosed with oral cancer die in five years.
  • The death rate of oral cancer is high, just like cervical, colon, liver, and breast cancer.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus) poses the highest risk of oral cancer.
  • Over 90% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are at least 45 years old.
  • More men succumb to oral cancer than women.
  • Men of African ancestry are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.

From the above facts, you can see that oral cancer can affect everyone, although some people are at a higher risk. Therefore, you don’t need to skip screenings because you don’t smoke or you are too young. Everyone should undergo these screenings to be on the safe side as the disease has a very high mortality rate. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

You should not wait for your regular screenings if you notice the warning signs of oral cancer. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Red or white patches in or behind your mouth
  • A mouth sore that won’t heal or heals then comes back later.
  • Lumps on your throat, neck, and the floor of your mouth
  • Tenderness and pain in your teeth and gums
  • Experiencing difficulties while swallowing food
  • Experiencing pain when opening your mouth or while chewing
  • Your dentures are not feeling fit anymore.
  • Evident change of the tissues in your mouth

Once you start experiencing any of the above signs, keep a two-week timeline for assessing the signs. Most of the signs often indicate other conditions that are not so severe, so you can rest easy. However, if the signs are consistent, get to a dentist in Fontana, CA, for oral cancer screening.

Risk Factors of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer affects all people, but some people are at a higher risk than others. Some risk factors of the condition include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • A history of excessive sun exposure
  • A person who was previously diagnosed with cancer

Oral Cancer Treatment

The good news is despite oral cancer being fatal; it can still be treated. However, it is vital that it is detected early for increased chances of successful treatment. There are various treatment approaches, often a combination of therapies.

If the cancer is still in its early stages, it can be treated through surgery. However, if it is advanced, it will be treated through a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Some of the common surgeries during the treatment include:

  • Neck dissection is often used to remove cancer that has spread to the neck.
  • MOHS micrographic surgery for lip cancer.
  • Tumor resection
  • Glossectomy for tongue cancer.
  • Mandibulectomy, which is often conducted to remove the entire lower jawbone or a part of it

You don’t need to panic, though. Modern technology has ensured that these treatments will not change your life as you are used to it. For example, if your tongue is removed during the treatment, it can be reconstructed with tissues from other parts of your body.

Side Effects Of Oral Cancer Treatment

Like other treatments, oral cancer treatment also comes with some side effects. They include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling changes in the taste of things
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

The severity of these side effects varies from one patient to another. Some side effects can last for a few weeks, while others last for months.

Talent Dental

We are here for you if you are looking for oral cancer screening and treatment. You can also count on us for dental services, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures.

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