The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer, and can also be one of the most life-threatening. About half of the patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer will die because of the disease – unless it is caught early. The good news is that if oral cancer cells are caught early in their development, the survival rate jumps from around 50% to more than 80%.
This of course makes oral cancer screening one of the most important dental examinations that you can undergo. It is recommended that patients receive professional oral cancer screenings at least once a year, perhaps more frequently if a number of risk factors are present.
While anyone can be diagnosed with oral cancer, there are some risk factors that will make you more prone to the disease. These risk factors include genetics, exposure to the HPV virus, age, tobacco use and high levels of alcohol consumption.
At each of your dental checkups your College Park Dental dentist will visually examine your mouth tissues for any sign of oral cancer. However, it is normally very difficult to see the disease in its early stages. That is why we also recommend the use of light-activated technology for oral cancer screenings. By having you rinse with a special mouthwash and then focusing a certain kind of light to your mouth area, your dentist can identify abnormal tissue cells months or years earlier than a simple visual inspection.
If you are over the age of forty, or have some of the key risk factors for the development of oral cancer, contact College Park Dental today to learn more about your screening options.