How An Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Lives
Oral cancer affected 48,000 people in 2016, according to the National Cancer Institute. This disease covers cancer of the mouth, throat and sinuses. When dental professionals discover it in its earlier stages, patient survival rates are as high as 83.3 percent. This figure drops down to 38 percent if it has metastasized. An oral cancer screening is an essential tool for keeping yourself safe and healthy.
Factors Increasing Your Risk of Oral Cancer
You may have a higher than average chance of developing oral cancer due to associated risk factors. For example, smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than people who have never smoked. Alcohol is another substance that makes this outcome more likely. In addition, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
Your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening during a typical dental checkup. They look for any sores or abnormal areas in your mouth and check for swelling in the nearby lymph nodes. If they find problem areas during the examination, they will refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. Biopsy specimens are sent to an oral pathologist to obtain an accurate microscopic diagnosis. If you feel like there is a growth in your mouth call your dentist for a screening. This can help you get the medical attention you need as quickly as possible.
Oral cancer has a good prognosis when you find the signs of it early on. With help from your dentist and oral surgeon, you can take care of your oral health and reduce your risk.
If you suspect something is wrong or feel as though you are at risk of oral cancer contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Paonessa to schedule a consultation, 914-873-0045.