Oral Cancer Screenings & Your Health
An essential part of managing your health is preventative care, including screenings for many diseases. However, while patients may consider being screened for certain cancers such as prostate cancer or breast cancer, oral cancer screenings are often forgotten.
Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because it may not be noticed by the patient in its early stages. The good news is that oral cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Keep reading to learn how regular screenings by your dentist can help catch oral cancer early — when it is most treatable.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer, also referred to as cancer of the mouth, is a severe health concern. Yet, many people are unaware of the risks. Oral cancer affects the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and floor of the mouth.
Statistics & Risk Factors
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 48,330 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. Of those, only about half will survive more than five years. Due to a lack of awareness, only about 60% of oral cancers are caught in the early stages. Additionally, oral cancer risk factors include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and a history of oral cancer in your family.
Poor dental hygiene is a significant contributing factor for missed oral cancer diagnoses. If a patient is not going to the dentist at least two times a year, they may miss early signs of the disease. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist regularly and mention any changes in your mouth, such as new lumps or sores.
Additional key statistics on oral cancer from the Oral Cancer Foundation include:
- Fewer than 15%-25% of those who regularly visit their dentist receive an oral cancer screening.
- 132 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer each day.
- One person dies from oral cancer every hour.
- Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
- Although most cases are seen in those over 40, more cases are being seen among younger people, probably due to the links between oral cancer and tobacco/alcohol consumption.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
At ProHEALTH Dental, we perform a comprehensive oral cancer examination. We use enhanced light transmission assisted visual inspection with Identafi, and bi-digital palpation to reveal potential cancerous oral lesions. Our dentists also conduct a thorough head and neck examination. Fortunately, oral cancer is highly treatable when caught early. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Oral Cancer Screenings in New York & New Jersey
Early detection is key to surviving oral cancer. If you’re concerned about oral cancer, talk to your dentist or about getting screened. At ProHEALTH Dental, we’re dedicated to protecting your overall health in connection to your oral health. Our team provides convenient, non-invasive chairside screenings for critical clinical vital sign data to reveal an undiagnosed medical condition.
To book your next appointment, contact us online or call at: (855) 750-5011