Even though mouth cancer doesn’t get the same attention as other cancers, it is still just as deadly. Approximately one person per hour dies from oral cancer in the U.S. every day. In comparison to higher profile cancers, the death toll is relatively low. However, the disease is very dangerous because it usually not detected until the late stages. By the advanced stage, the odds of survival are slim.
The good news is that with early detection, the rate of survival increases by 80 percent or higher. For that reason, oral cancer screenings save lives! What’s more, the test is included in your regular dental health checkups at Dental Magic.
An oral cancer screening is quick and painless. Your dentist in the Bronx, NY, will check the soft tissues of the mouth for small changes. The goal is to identify any early signs of cancer. This is mainly a visual and manual examination. If there are any abnormal findings, a tissue sample will be retrieved and sent to a lab for testing.
You might be surprised to learn that oral cancer was once considered an older person’s disease. At one time, it mostly afflicted patients over age 40. Consequently, the fastest growing section for mouth cancer today is younger people. The reason for this growing spread is human papillomavirus (HPV16). This is a common, high-risk, sexually transmitted disease.
In addition, other risk factors include: being middle-aged or older, long-term tobacco use, or a moderate to heavy alcohol abuse. Long term sun exposure is also linked to mouth cancer, on the lips. Furthermore, genetic factors are believed to influence who gets oral cancer as well.
A thorough oral cancer screening is part of your regular dental exam. This is another reason to keep up with your routine checkups. Oral cancer screenings in the Bronx, NY include a visual assessment of your tongue, lips, and other soft tissues of the mouth. Your Bronx, NY dentist will look for white or red spots or sores. Inside the mouth will be palpated to check for swelling or lumps. A dye or special light may be used further inspect any suspicious areas. If anything abnormal is detected, the tissue can easily be biopsied.