Prevention and early detection are key ingredients in the recipe for a long life. That’s especially true when it comes to oral cancer, which estimates say nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with in the United States in 2018 alone. 5-year survival rates are shockingly low, with one American dying per hour each day as a result of oral cancer. This April, your dentist in Columbus is honoring National Oral Cancer Awareness Month by starting a conversation about the disease, and why getting your mouth screened this month could save your life — literally. Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is cancer of the lips, cheeks, tongue, throat, or hard/soft palate of the mouth. Its occurrence is closely linked to tobacco use, but many nonsmokers are at risk of this disease due to the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted disease. Oral cancer requires early detection and prompt treatment for successful recovery. This is why routine oral cancer screenings are key — and why starting the conversation about this disease couldn’t be more important.
What Can I Expect in an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a quick and painless exam that can be completed at the end of your regularly-scheduled checkup and cleaning. First, you and your dentist will have a chat about your oral health. We’ll ask you questions related to changes in or around your mouth you may have noticed lately — for example, a drop in the tone of voice or difficulty swallowing can indicate a problem.
Once this conversation is complete and we have made thorough notes, the examination will begin. Through touch and sight, your dentist will check for lumps, bumps, lesions, and other irregularities that may require further attention. If anything suspicious is found during the screening, we will work closely with you to help ensure you receive the follow-up treatment you require.
Who Should Get Oral Cancer Screenings?
Due to the fact that oral cancer is affecting more young people than ever before, the current recommendation is that all adults over the age of 18 should receive an oral cancer screening each year. It isn’t difficult to schedule — simply let your dentist know that you would like to have an oral cancer exam when you book your next checkup and cleaning. This April, we encourage all of our patients to make time for an oral cancer screening. Early detection is crucial for successful outcomes!
Meet the Practice
Eric P. Buck, DDS and Associates offer comprehensive dental care from the comfort of the Creative Smiles dental office in Columbus, OH. If you are interested in discussing oral cancer or if you would like to book an appointment for a screening during Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage you to contact the office by calling 614-459-7766 today.