What can you expect from us when we do an oral cancer screening? Let's look at some of the things you can expect from us, plus we'll give you a few tips for performing a self-check at home. Oral cancer is very real, scary and many times can be detected early by our office.
Approximately 100 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in the United States every day. And there's been an increase in recent years among what used to be considered low-risk populations: non-smokers under the age of 50.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
There are a lot of different things that are associated with the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco use, alcohol, sun exposure, diet and recently there has been research that points to certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) all contribute to your risk. Our role is primarily early detection and education when it comes to you and your risk for oral cancer.
When you come in for your screening, we will physically examine and inspect the inside and outsides of your guns and cheeks, the floor and roof of your mouth and your tongue. An examination of the lymph nodes in your neck and jaw and your salivary glands will be performed as well. Being honest with us about your smoking and drinking habits is imperative as well.
Self Check At home, you can check yourself in between your yearly screenings in our office. Invest in a little dental mirror and in a well-lit mirror, examine the inside of your mouth looking for any discolored areas, spots or unusual textures. Grasp your tongue with a piece of gauze and extend it, say 'ahh' and check the back of your tongue and throat as well.
Generally, try to stick as close to our routine as possible. If you notice any irregularities or have any concerns, please don't hesitate to call us and get in for a screening. Oral cancer is serious and early detection is the key to successful treatment.