Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a serious disease. It is the largest group of cancers that fall into the head and neck categories and can strike anywhere in your mouth, including your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, palate, and near the entrance of the throat. Every year, it affects over 40,000 Americans. Of those diagnosed, slightly more than half will survive past five years. Early detection and treatment are essential for improving your chances of survival and restoring your health and quality of life. McDonald DDS can help with an oral cancer screening.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
There are several warning signs of oral cancer. However, many of these early warning signs are often unnoticed by patients. They feel perfectly normal and healthy, so they may not think that anything is wrong. During your oral cancer screening, your mouth is checked for early warning signs, but oral cancer can strike at any time. Knowing the warning signs can help you to take action the moment you notice them. Warning signs of oral cancer include:
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
There are several risk factors for oral cancer. Some of these risk factors can be controlled, so taking action can help to reduce your risk. There are also some risk factors that cannot be controlled. Risk factors for oral cancer include:
The Importance of Regular Exams
During your six month visits, we perform oral cancer screenings. However, why are these so important? Oral cancer is dangerous because the early stages often go unnoticed by patients. Any symptoms that do appear do not cause any pain. You also may not recognize the symptoms as related to oral cancer. Often, oral cancer is not discovered until it has begun to spread, typically to the lymph nodes. By this point, the prognosis is often worse. This is because the cancer is no longer in one central location and the initial tumor has had an opportunity to grow deeper into the oral tissues. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the better your chances for survival and the restoration of a long, healthy life. Knowing your risks for developing oral cancer is important for prevention. In the event oral cancer does strike, early detection and treatment are crucial. For more information, or to schedule your next dental exam, call McDonald DDS today at (469) 649-0699.
Each time I am in for a visit, I am impressed by the genuine kindness, professionalism, and warmth from the staff. Having staff engaged with the patients makes a huge difference in your experience and I'll be a customer for life because of their approaching!