The Importance Of Oral Cancer Screening For A Long Life Of Healthy Smiles
While you may visit your dentist for prevention and the earliest detection of common conditions such as cavities and gum disease, our Carrollton dental team is also vigilant in the issue of oral cancer.
Many people consider oral cancer a rare condition. Statistics show that approximately 130 new oral cancer diagnoses are made each day in the US alone. Annually, 30,000 new cases are expected. Furthermore, The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that every hour of every day, one death occurs as a result of this disease.
As awareness has increased and diagnostic testing improved, conditions such as cervical cancer and colon cancer have experienced a decrease in mortality rates. The same cannot be said for oral cancer. In the past fifty years, very little has changed in terms of survival rates for this medical problem. At Hebron Smiles, we are doing what we can to change that.
When oral cancer is detected early, the survival rate can be as high as 90 percent. Sadly, most diagnoses today are made too late. As dental professionals, we recognize the importance of our role as a first line of defense against oral cancer.
Dr. Saleem and our team make oral cancer screenings a routine part of every exam process. When you visit us for the first time, we will perform this exam. It is repeated at every annual visit from that point on. Oral cancer screening is neither complicated nor painful. The process involves the visual observation of oral tissues including the tongue, even the underside. If an abnormality is noticed, we rely on an excellent referral source for confirmation.
Anomalies that may indicate oral cancer include a bump, lump, or ulcer that does not seem to go away. Color changes in oral tissue may also alert us to abnormal cells. In addition to our visual and manual examination, we obtain a comprehensive patient history that will help us determine if risk factors exist. The most common factors associated with oral cancer at this time are HPV16, and alcohol and tobacco use.
Schedule your routine visit at Hebron Smiles at (972) 388-3320