Oral Cancer Screenings Can Detect Early Stage Cancer
Posted on 8/10/2020 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
Hindsight makes all the difference. If someone told you that you will be robbed if you go down a particular street, what would you do with that information? It's the greatest feeling in the world to catch something before something serious occurs. Oral cancer screenings are used to find cancers or precancerous conditions in your mouth. Those at risk of oral cancer should begin consistent screenings as soon as possible, but everyone should make regular oral cancer screenings a part of their dental routine starting as early as 20 years old. The key to detecting early-stage cancer is to start early in life.
What's the Point, and When Should You Start?
The point of starting oral cancer screenings early and consistently is to find cancers or abnormalities at their earliest when they are easiest to extract as well as treat. There is no set point when to start screenings, but starting as early as 20 years old can help establish habits that will lead to lifetime of consistent screenings. Possible factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer are large levels of sun exposure without sunscreen, using tobacco, previous history of oral lesions, and consistent consumption of alcohol. While sores and lumps occur in the mouth anything lasting longer than two weeks is a clear indicator that you should see us. You see us twice a year for checkups and cleanings, but making appointments for screenings is a good example of being better safe than sorry.
It is important not to wait for pain or inflammation in your mouth to tell you something is wrong. The signs of oral cancer range from a lump in your mouth to ear pain so trying to gauge and diagnose yourself is not only irresponsible but dangerous. Creating consistent habits from consistent lifestyle choices will serve you and your mouth in the long run. Contact us for more information and make sure to mention any irregularities during your appointment.
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