Approximately 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer occurs almost as frequently as leukemia and claims almost as many lives as melanoma cancer.
Your NCD doctor believes in the importance of oral cancer screening. A routine oral exam can make the difference in detecting early warning signs of cancer, yet many people don’t know this simple, painless, twenty-minute check up should be done once every year. Oral Cancer Screenings are a regular part of the Comprehensive Oral Exam and the Annual Oral Exam.
Your dentist will inspect your face, neck, lips, and mouth to look for any signs of cancer:
- Check for asymmetry (swelling in the face, drooping or poor movement of the mouth or lips)
- Slurring of speech
- Feel under the jaw, sides of the neck for lumps or enlarged areas
- Visually and manually inspecting the floor, inside cheeks, and roof of your mouth
- Visually and manually inspecting your tongue – top, sides and underneath
During a dental oral exam, the dentist moves the tongue, checks the glands in the mouth, even checks the patient’s head and neck. A dentist feels for physical anomalies in an area that would be overlooked by a general physician. Cancers can be detected before more obvious external indications arise by changes or abnormalities in the glands of the mouth, under the tongue, or in the tongue itself. The exam takes only twenty minutes and it can save your life.
Oral cancer is easy to miss. It takes an experienced professional to thoroughly diagnose and recommend treatment. The stage at which an oral cancer is diagnosed is critical to the course of the disease. When detected at its earliest stage, oral cancer is more easily treated and cured. When detected late, the overall five-year survival rate is about 50 percent. Make sure you get your Oral Cancer Screening at least once a year.
Call today to schedule your Comprehensive Oral or Annual Oral Exam.