oral cancer is out there. let’s take a look.
oral cancer is one of the few types of cancer that hasn’t been significantly reduced in the past 30 years. At Comfort Dental, we’re here to help change that by providing extensive oral cancer screenings for your peace of mind.
Oral cancer is discovered in late stages about 70% of the time, and often that is simply too late.
you could be at risk
Oral cancer has traditionally been associated with tobacco usage, and it’s true that the majority of oral cancer victims smoke or use chewing tobacco, consume alcohol, and are over 40. But the group experiencing the highest growth rate of oral cancer incidence does not fit this traditional “at risk” profile. More and more, oral cancer is striking younger people who don’t use tobacco or abuse alcohol.
In many cases, the cause appears to be one of two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV-16 or HPV-18) that can be contracted during sexual intercourse and especially oral sex. As a result, health care experts recommend annual oral cancer screenings for all adults aged 18 and older. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, screenings are recommended every six months
what if we find something?
In most cases, the exam will indicate that there is nothing to worry about. However, it is of course possible that some suspicious areas could be revealed. In that case, it could very well be that the suspicious-looking area is of little or no concern, such as if it is caused by chewing the inside of your cheek or by irritation from dentures or braces. If necessary, we may ask you to come back in a few weeks so that we may take another look.
If the area has improved in the meantime, we’ll know that oral cancer was not involved. If the area has not improved, we will recommend further exams, which may include a biopsy that can be evaluated by an oral pathologist. In the unlikely event that the biopsy reveals cancerous or precancerous tissues, you will be referred for appropriate treatment.
Fortunately, the survival rate for oral cancer discovered at early stages is extremely high. That’s why it is so important that you have an oral cancer screening once a year, or twice a year if you smoke or chew tobacco.
If you have any questions about oral cancer, please let us know. Your oral health is the key to your overall health, and we want to help you in any way we can.