This April, we are celebrating the arrival of spring here in Canton — as short as we know it will probably be before summer starts heating up. But there’s one more thing we’re celebrating this time of year. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month! That means it’s time to talk about this disease, and how getting routine oral cancer screenings could save your life.
Oral Cancer Rates Are Rising
If you think oral cancer is something only smokers and older people get, think again. Rates of oral cancer are on the rise in the United States, even as the number of people who smoke or use tobacco is declining. This is caused by the link between oral cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that estimates say nearly 100% adults will be exposed to. As a result, more young, otherwise healthy patients are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before.
What Are the Warning Signs of Oral Cancer?
Making yourself aware of the symptoms of oral cancer can help to ensure that you receive necessary treatment as soon as possible. When the diagnosis is delayed, chances of recovery are greatly reduced.
Some of the most common warning signs of oral cancer include:
- Lesions that do not heal after several days
- Lumps or bumps in the soft oral tissue
- Red or inflamed areas of tissue
- Areas of discoloration (pink or white)
- Rough patches
- Asymmetry of the face
- Change in the tone of voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sensation that something is caught in the throat
If you experience any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to seek a professional opinion right away.
What Can I Expect from an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a quick examination that can be performed at the same time as your routine checkup and cleaning. It is recommended that all adults over the age of 18 should have an annual oral cancer screening.
To begin, you and your dentist will have a quick chat about your oral health — make sure to share all details, including any medications you are taking and whether or not you have noticed anything unusual with your oral health lately. Then, the visual and tactile examination will begin. During this portion, your doctor will look out for irregularities that could indicate cancerous or precancerous cells.
If anything suspicious is found during the oral cancer screening, we will provide professional advice to help you get the follow-up care you need right away. Whatever the recommended next steps, you can feel confident when you partner with Legacy Dental Group.
Where Can I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
Your dentist offers oral cancer screenings in Canton. It’s April, and that means it’s time to start thinking about oral cancer. When was your last screening? If it has been awhile — or if you have never had one before — it’s time to schedule an appointment! Doing so could (literally) save your life.
Meet the Practice
The Legacy Dental Group offers comprehensive dental care from the comfort of a state-of-the-art dental practice. They are inviting all adult patients to come in for an oral cancer screening during April. To book a visit with your family dentist in Canton, please do not hesitate to call 903-567-4881.