Regular Oral Cancer Screenings
During your regular checkup and cleaning, Dr. Gary Rosenfeld can also perform an oral cancer screening. It’s probably not something you think about very often, but rates of oral cancer are on the rise in the US and around the world. Currently, one American dies from oral cancer each hour. Early detection is important for the successful treatment of oral cancer — and that’s why we recommend that adults undergo an oral cancer screening in Medford at least once annually. Keep reading to learn what you can expect from an annual screening for oral cancer, then request an appointment today.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer has historically been most closely linked to tobacco use, alcohol, or genetics. The rise of HPV-related cancers, however, has led to the increase in oral cancer in more healthy, young patients than ever before. The need for regular screenings is increasingly important.
The risk factors associated with oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Previous diagnosis of cancer
- Gender (men are more likely to have oral cancer)
- Age (risk increases above age 45)
- Fair skin
- Poor oral hygiene
- And others
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
Watch out for the warning signs of oral cancer, which include lumps, bumps, discolored patches, and sore spots that do not heal after two weeks. Persistent pain in the mouth and sudden weight change are also associated with cancer. Asymmetry of the face and a change in the tone of voice may occur, too. Schedule an appointment with your dentist or doctor right away if you notice something suspicious with your oral health. The earlier oral cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chances for a cure. Because patients often do not recognize the presence of abnormalities in their own mouths, regular screenings help with early detection.
The Oral Cancer Screening: What to Expect
The oral cancer screening is a simple examination we usually perform at the end of the checkup and cleaning to look for cancerous or precancerous conditions in the mouth. It doesn’t require any special preparation on your part. During the regular screening, your dentist in Medford will ask you a series of questions about your oral health, then visually and tactilely go over your oral and facial structures. During this examination, he is looking out for the irregularities that could indicate cancer — like lumps, bumps, discolored patches, or asymmetries.
If we do find anything suspicious during the oral cancer screening, we will provide you with the information you need for prompt follow-up attention. Dr. Rosenfeld may suggest a follow-up visit to see if the suspicious area has changed or gone away. Alternatively, he may recommend a biopsy straight away.
Schedule an Appointment Today
With regular oral cancer screenings, we can greatly improve outcomes after diagnoses of oral cancer in Medford. When was the last time you had a screening? Dr. Rosenfeld can perform the exam at the end of your next checkup and cleaning. Schedule an appointment with your trusted dentist today!