Oral Cancer Awareness Month: Are You Due for a Screening?
While oral cancer is not common, it causes about 13,500 deaths per year. Mortality rates are particularly high because oral cancer often goes undetected.
Your dentist in Southeast, TX is often the first who will notice a suspicious lesion that requires a biopsy. Oral cancer lesions vary in color from white to black or red and can be raised, smooth, or even concave.
Anytime a sore remains in your mouth for more than a week or two; it is best to have it checked. Early diagnosis will improve treatment options and survival rates.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Tobacco use – About 90 percent of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer use tobacco.
Alcohol use – Alcohol use dramatically increases the risk of developing oral cancer, especially for smokers.
HPV – The human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted infection that can also infect the mouth and remain undetectable for years without the proper testing.
Exposure to sunlight – Lip cancer is also a form of oral cancer. Exposure to sunlight and tanning beds can increase the risk of oral cancer of the lips, especially in fair-skinned people with freckles and people of Northern European heritage.
When you choose Nederland Family Dental as your dentist in Southeast, TX, you have had an oral cancer screening, though you might not be aware of it. Your hygienist or Dr. Gomez will often feel your neck to check the thyroid, use a piece of gauze to grab the tongue and look at the sides and underneath, feel the gums for lumps or cysts, and have a look at the back of the throat to identify any lesions that cause concern.
Because you are important to us, this is a courtesy we include during every dental exam. Oral cancer screening could save your life. April is oral cancer awareness month, and we invite you to get in touch to book your next dental appointment.