The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
You promptly get the cancer screenings your physician advises. You eat a healthy diet, and you exercise. All that is great, but consider this: have you had your annual oral cancer screening? Drs. Richard and Maria Linden, your Naples, FL, dentists, assess their adult patients for signs of oral cancer with every semi-annual check-up and cleaning at Linden Dental. Screenings ensure early diagnosis of this potentially deadly cancer.
The details on oral cancer
The Cancer Centers of America state that oral cancer develops in the soft tissues of the mouth, back of the throat and gums. Unfortunately, this cancer strikes more than 47,000 people annually in the United States, says the Oral Cancer Foundation.
What are the signs? There are many, including:
- Persistent hoarseness
- A sore or patch which does not heal
- Unexplained lumps or swelling in the mouth, at the sides of the neck or under the chin
- Mouth pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mobile teeth
- A change in the fit of a denture or in how teeth bite together
- A continual sore throat
- Persistent bad breath
Many of these symptoms are common to other ailments. So without routine screening by your dentist in Naples, oral cancers may be missed altogether until they are far advanced. Cancers that have well developed before diagnosis have a poor five-year survival rate.
Additionally, everyone should know their risk factors. As an example, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancers as women are. Also, age plays a part, with more cases appearing in the over 40 population. Other predisposing factors include:
- Exposure to HPV, the Human Papillomavirus which is sexually transmitted
- Excessive sun exposure
- Alcohol abuse
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco usage
- Consuming a diet low in fruits and vegetables
What you can do
First of all, don't be scared. It's what you don't know that can hurt you. Second, keep your routine appointments at Linden Dental. Dr. Linden will visually inspect your mouth with every cleaning and check-up. He or she also will feel the sides of your neck and under your chin, looking for any lumps or swellings.
Basically, that's it. Oral cancer screening is a quick and painless way to give yourself much deserved peace of mind regarding your oral health.
Please contact the friendly team at Linden Dental in Naples, FL, for your semi-annual exam. Be sure to ask your dentist about your oral cancer screening. Call today for an appointment: (239) 593-0777.