Why Everyone Needs an Annual Oral Cancer Screening
Think you’re not at risk for developing oral cancer? Think again. While factors such as tobacco use (smoking or dip tobacco) or alcohol consumption do increase your risk of oral cancer, they’re not the only ones. Healthy people can develop this deadly disease, too.
It turns out that other risk factors like sun exposure and certain viruses (like HPV, which is also linked to cervical cancer) can make you more prone to oral cancer. As such, people of all demographics and ages are at risk.
Early Screening Saves Lives
The best treatment for oral cancer is — and always has been — early diagnosis. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the more effective and less aggressive your cancer treatment can be.
As oral health professionals, we have extensive training and hands-on experience when it comes to screening for oral cancer. Booking a checkup at least every six months allows us to identify changes in your oral tissues that may have developed since your last visit.
You’re Unlikely to See it On Your Own
Unfortunately, most people never realize that they have oral cancer unless it has already progressed into a severe phase of the disease. Since symptoms are more challenging to identify, the cancer has prime opportunity to spread and become more aggressive.
By the point you realize there’s a problem, it may already be too late.
Symptoms to Look For
As your dentist, we’re specifically looking for precancerous and pathological signs of tissues with:
- Irregular patterns and borders
- Differences compared to the other side of your mouth
- Lumps or knots
- Swollen lymph tissues
- Red or white patches
- Sores that do not heal within two weeks
- Sunken in or shallow surfaces
- Difficulty swallowing
If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, be sure to visit Purity Dental in Mulgrave straightaway.