3 Reasons for Regular Oral Cancer Exams
Learn more about why it is to your benefit to get a screening each year.
Each year, approximately 40,000 American men and women are diagnosed with oral cancer, and almost 9,000 Americans die annually from the disease. Only 59% of people diagnosed will survive beyond five years, underlining the importance of regular checkups for cancer detection. Additionally, if you drink alcohol or use tobacco products regularly, spend prolonged periods in the sun, or have contracted human papillomavirus (HPV), you are at an increased risk for developing oral cancer.
Oral cancer is certainly dangerous, but can be treated if diagnosed early. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t wait another day to get an oral cancer screening:
There has been an increase in oral cancer diagnosis in young people.
While people generally think of older individuals who drink and use tobacco products as being the most likely to develop oral cancer, there has been an increase in incidence among people 25 – 50. Experts believe there may be a connection to the HPV, which can cause oral cancer.
Oral cancer screens are fast and simple.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can perform a quick visual exam of your mouth for signs of precancerous tissue. If any suspicious tissue is discovered, further diagnostic testing will be performed to rule out cancer. You should be screened for oral cancer once annually, which can be done during your yearly check-up and cleaning.
Early detection produces the best outcomes.
While no one likes to think about the possibility of developing cancer, it is better to be proactive and detect it early then to remain ignorant of a potentially life threatening condition. With annual screenings, cancer can be identified early before it metastasizes (spreads) and treatment provided, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome to 80%.
If you are concerned that you may have signs of an oral cancer, contact the professionals at the Summit OMS to schedule your appointment today. Our experienced surgeons will perform a screen, and biopsy any suspicious tissue to determine pathology.
Remember, early detection is key to producing the best outcomes.