Why Do I Need An Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer is a dental issue that most patients never consider, and yet it will seriously impact thousands of patients every year. If it is not diagnosed and treated, it carries a high rate of mortality. An annual screening is the number one prevention against oral cancer. Rest assured that a basic screening is part of every one of your regular dental check ups.
For several decades, Americans have died from oral cancer at the rate of one person every hour. The death rate is significantly higher than the death rate on other, more commonly known cancers. Nearly 60% of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years. A third of those diagnosed were not involved in the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other typically high-risk activities.
Early Prevention Is The Key
The main reason for the high oral cancer death rate is that it is so often diagnosed in later stages of development. When oral cancer is spotted in its beginning stages, the death rate plummets. When diagnosed early, a whopping 90% of oral cancer patients can expect a full recover. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancer cases are not diagnosed until they are in the later stages. There is a strong incentive to be on the lookout for oral cancer.
How Can Oral Cancer Be Spotted Early?
With the stake so high, an aggressive approach to early detection is certainly warranted. A majority of this early detection protection is put in place when you simply stay committed to your regular dental checkups. Every dentist is trained to conduct thorough visual examinations for oral cancer as a regular part of dental exams. If a more thorough exam is warranted, your dentist will provide direction for you.