Do You Need Oral Cancer Screening?
No one wants to deal with cancer, and so it is important to catch it before it progresses too far. For this reason, it is important that everyone have oral cancer screenings at your dentist’s office. While you might not think you are at risk, screening is still very important. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is Screening Important?
At the very least, oral cancer is a very painful experience. And by the time you have caught it by noticing symptoms, it could already be spreading or even too late to really do anything. Screening helps catch cancer before any symptoms appear, giving you the most possible options for treatment.
Because screenings occur before any symptoms appear, it is important to remember that if your dentist suggests a screening, do not freak out. Screenings are suggested for many different people at many different times and are in no way indicative that you actually have cancer. Often, oral cancer screening can be done during a regular oral examination.Your dentist is not basing his recommendation on anything except a general need to catch cancer early on. Chances are nothing will come from the screening.
You should only worry if the screening comes back with abnormal results. Then, more diagnostic tests will be done. Your dentist will work with you to diagnose and treat any illness.
Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?
If one of the following applies to you, you might want to talk to your dentist about a screening if you haven’t already. Those at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer include:
- Tobacco smokers or chewers.
- Heavy drinkers or alcoholics.
- Those subjected to intense and/or prolonged sun exposure.
- People over the age of 55.
- People suffering from HPV.
- Those who are genetically predisposed (have suffered before or have relatives with oral cancer).
There are many other risk factors, too. Some even speculate that mouthwash and dentures could cause oral cancer, but that is not proven in the least.
If you are worried about oral cancer (and quite frankly, even if you’re not), you should talk to Dr. Kalil about oral cancer screenings. We can help you beat it before symptoms start to show.