Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious matter and one you shouldn’t wait to address only during Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April! In the United States, a little over 50% survive oral cancer after treatment for five years. Upping this rate is only done through early detection, which is why information about oral cancer should be on everybody’s agenda.
While the dentist can check for the earliest warning signs of oral cancer when you go in for a regular checkup, it is also important to be aware of some warning signs that can prompt you to visit your doctor sooner. Personal vigilance is a must, especially if you want to catch at it a highly treatable state. Here are some signs that, when present for two whole weeks, should warrant a trip to the dentist for oral cancer screening:
- Feeling like there is a lump stuck inside your throat
- A feeling of tenderness, pain, or numbness in your mouth or tongue
- Pain in the ears even when you don’t experience hearing loss
- The presence of white or red lesions in the mouth or lips
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, as well as problems in swallowing, chewing or speaking
- Tooth loss or teeth becoming loose without any obvious dental causes
- A prolonged hoarseness or a sore throat
- Lumps, swellings, thick patches or sores found in the mouth or throat
When any of these symptoms are found, it is important to get a schedule for an oral cancer examination right away. These are quick and painless and will help detect if the condition is indeed present and what stage it is at. If there is a suspicion of cancer presence, your dentist might ask to get a biopsy. If the diagnosis is positive, then the next thing to do is to start treating the area right away. The earlier you do it, the higher your chances for an effective treatment!
Looking for more information about oral cancer? Give us a call today at (661) 232-9692.