Oral Cancer Screenings Cypress, Texas 77429
Prevention is Key
Oral Cancer Screenings
Prevention is Key
Oral cancer can have devastating consequences. But fortunately, early detection is possible with oral cancer screenings. These screenings are quick, easy, and effective. However, many patients don’t know that they need oral cancer screenings at all. Read on to learn if you are at risk for oral cancer- and how you can catch it before it’s too late.
Anyone can develop oral cancer. However, it is most common in patients over the age of 45. It’s also more common in men than in women. In addition to age and sex, certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of oral cancer. People who use tobacco, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or have generally poor nutrition should get screened for oral cancer. People with a history of extended UV light exposure should also get screened. This light exposure can be from tanning beds, working outdoors, or simply spending prolonged amounts of time outdoors. Some types of sexually-transmitted HPV (human papillomavirus) can also increase your risk of oral cancer.
Whether you have risk factors or not, an oral cancer screening is always a good idea. Screenings are quick and simple, so they are easy to incorporate into your dental routine. Screenings begin with a visual/physical exam of the mouth, tongue, and gums. Dr. Garza will look for abnormalities and make sure everything feels normal. They can then use tools, such as light devices and oral brush biopsies, to further inspect the mouth.
The goal of the screening is to find indications of anything abnormal inside the mouth, such as lump, spots or growths. This may be the outright presence of oral cancer, or precancerous lesions that increase the risk of mouth cancer.
Not all forms of oral cancers are obvious – even though your dentist is going to look for lesions inside the mouth, there are more subtle warning signs that can go undetected. Talk to your dentist if you have any symptoms such as a numb tongue or area in the mouth, or a patch in your mouth that’s red or white. You may notice changes in your voice, or a sore throat that doesn’t resolve on its own. Other symptoms include trouble chewing or swallowing, a thick spot in your cheek, swelling, jaw pain and unexplained weight loss.
Early-stage oral cancer usually presents without symptoms. However, it’s important to get any abnormalities checked just in case. If you have new or worsening mouth ulcers, unusual bad breath, or unexplained oral pain, then see a professional. They can evaluate your mouth to treat the problem quickly, and catch potential cancers at an early stage.