Awareness of diseases like breast cancer, colon cancer, or skin cancer is relatively high. Each has fairly clear warning signs and screenings are encouraged. Most people know that they are serious issues and do what they can to minimize their risk for each, such as wearing sunscreen and maintaining a healthy diet. Oral cancer is slightly different in that it doesn’t present obvious symptoms in its early stages, and many people don’t even give it a thought. It is a serious issue, however. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 cases are diagnosed each year, with more than 7,000 of these resulting in death. The good news is that treatment for oral cancer can be very successful if the disease is caught early. This is done through oral cancer screenings, such as those performed at Smile Huntington. They can be a part of a routine exam for patients in Huntington, NY.
Oral cancer can affect not just the mouth (such as the tongue and salivary glands), but also the lips, throat, pharynx, larynx, and sinuses. It can develop without presenting any noticeable symptoms, but these are some signs that should be a red flag that something is not right.
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Unlike screening for something like colon cancer, an oral cancer screening is non-invasive and relatively quick. Your dentist will perform a visual and physical exam of your mouth, checking for the warning signs mentioned above. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be recommended.
For the sake of your oral health, it’s a good idea to have an oral cancer screening every six months at Smile Huntington. It can be performed along with your routine exam and cleaning in Huntington, NY.