Have you ever received a screening? As an adult, you should undergo an exam for the presence of oral cancer at least once a year. What does an oral cancer screening involve? Most offices provide them as part of a routine checkup. Identifying the presence of the disease early is essential for improving the chances of a full recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Cancer Screenings
Question: When do I need a screening?
Answer: We recommend receiving one as part of your routine checkup. The American Dental Association suggests a checkup once every six months. At the minimum, you should have a dental professional examine your smile once a year.
Question: What does the procedure involve?
Answer: To put it simply, we will carefully examine the soft tissue in your mouth for any possible warning signs of disease. In addition to oral cancer, we may also look for any signs of decay or periodontal disease.
Question: What are the warning signs of oral cancer?
Answer: There are a number of possible warning signs of the disease. First, you may notice rough patches or lesions that don’t heal after 14 days. You may also notice changes in your voice, hoarseness, or throat pain. If you encounter one or more of these warning signs then please schedule a visit right away. Over 43,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.
Question: Will the doctor recommend a biopsy?
Answer: If we discover the possible presence of cancerous or precancerous areas, we will refer you to a doctor for a biopsy. There, you will obtain an accurate diagnosis and will be able to discuss possible treatment options. Remember, many of those diagnosed with the disease die within the first five years simply because it wasn’t caught until the later stages. A routine exam can potentially prevent this and allow you to address the issue early.