Oral Cancer Screenings
Regular Oral Cancer Screenings Provided By Your Elk Grove Dentist Are Recommend For Everyone, At Any Age
At our Elk Grove dentist office, we take oral cancer prevention very seriously. Smokers are not the only ones susceptible to oral cancer. Although some individuals are more likely than others to get oral cancer (usually due to lifestyle choices), it can happen to anyone.
Oral cancer screenings performed by your dentist are the best way to spot concerns and prevent small indicators from becoming potentially life-threatening problems. Approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Out of that group, 25% will die from the disease.
Screening and Diagnosis for Oral Cancer
A screening is performed by your dentist before cancer symptoms present themselves. The screening itself involves looking and feeling for lumps or tissue irregularities in the neck, face, head, mouth and lips. Sores in the mouth or suspicious tissue abnormalities can alert your dentist to possible red flags.
If Dr. Fenton spots a potential concern, a couple of different tests can be performed. A brush biopsy is one such test that (painlessly) samples a small group of cells from the suspected area to be analyzed for cancer.
If your dentist is particularly alarmed by a sore, discoloration or other abnormality, a somewhat more invasive biopsy can be performed under local anesthesia. With routine dental visits, these tests can detect cancer at a very early stage and allow you a better chance to tackle the problem before it becomes even more serious or starts to spread to other parts of your mouth, head, neck or body.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Treatment of oral cancer works along the same lines as the treatment of any other cancer. Surgery is performed to remove the growth or affected tissue before undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. These procedures can kill any remaining cancerous cells. In some cases, both treatments are required for optimal recovery results.
Prevention Of Oral Cancer
As mentioned above, early detection of oral concerns can avoid the need for lengthy ongoing treatment and possibly save your life. Avoiding smoking can aid greatly in preventing oral cancer. Limiting your exposure to the sun can also help. We don’t always think to use a lotion or SPF lip balm when we spend time in the sun, but these small steps can help prevent cancer of the lips.
Self-exams–performed roughly every month–can keep a close eye on how your mouth should look and allow you to spot any changes quickly. Using a flashlight and a mirror can make it easy to take a look inside your mouth. Be sure to check all areas and remember to feel for lumps in the lower jaw and down into the neck.
Seeing your dentist routinely for oral exams can greatly benefit your overall oral health. Incorporating cancer screenings after the age of 20 is ideal. For adults aged 20-40, screenings are recommended every three years, during a normal routine exam. After the age of 40, it is beneficial to have a screening every year.
Contact Laguna Vista Dental Today!
Try not to avoid regular oral exams, regardless of cancer concerns. Call Laguna Vista Dental at (916) 684-3105 today to schedule a routine appointment and ask to include a quick and easy cancer screening.