Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Cancer Screening in Holden, MA
Oral cancer can be a deadly disease, but it is often preventable. That’s why dentists encourage all of their patients to regularly get screened for oral cancer.
If you haven’t recently had an oral cancer screening, contact our office in Holden, MA. Our team will carefully examine your mouth for any signs of cancer, and we’ll work with you to create a prevention plan that suits your needs. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
What is oral cancer, and what are the symptoms?
Oral cancer, also known as cancer of the mouth, is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and throat tissues. Common symptoms of oral cancer can include soreness or pain in the mouth or lips, difficulty chewing or swallowing, feeling something caught in the throat, and weight loss.
If left untreated, oral cancer may spread to other parts of the head and neck, which can be fatal. Early detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions is critical for successful treatment, so it is essential to see a doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Treatment for oral cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, with prompt treatment, many people with oral cancer can make a full recovery.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
While oral cancer can occur in anyone, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Age is one of the most significant risk factors, with most cases occurring in people over 40. Other risk factors include smoking, heavy alcohol use, and sun exposure. People with a history of other cancers are also at an increased risk of developing the disease again.
Ask your dentist about receiving an oral cancer screening at your next dental appointment if you have these risk factors.
How to Get an Oral Cancer Screening
While most people are aware of the need for regular screenings for breast and colon cancer, far fewer realize that oral cancer is also a severe threat. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
The good news is that oral cancer is highly curable when caught early. That’s why it’s essential to get an oral cancer screening from your dentist or doctor regularly.
During an oral exam, your dentist or doctor will visually examine your mouth for any signs of abnormalities or pre-cancerous conditions in the oral cavity. They will also feel any lumps or swellings in your neck or jaw area. If anything suspicious is found, you may need a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
Screenings are quick and painless, so there’s no reason to put off getting one. Ask your dentist or doctor about an oral cancer screening at your next appointment.
Ways to Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Smoking is the number one cause of oral cancer, and quitting can dramatically reduce your risk. If you currently smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your oral health. There are resources available to help you quit, so find one that works for you and commit to kicking the habit.
In addition to smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is also a significant risk factor for oral cancer. If you drink alcohol, cutting back or eliminating it from your diet can help reduce your risk. In addition, if you spend a lot of time exposed to the sun, protective lotions should be worn on your face and lips.
Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it’s essential to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups. Your dentist will do a visual examination of the oral cavity to spot any changes in your mouth or early signs of cancer.
Holden Family Dentistry Provides Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a severe disease that can be life-threatening if not caught early. The good news is that it can be cured when treated early. Ask our dentist about doing a quick screening as part of your preventive care routine at your next check-up.