Oral Cancer Screening in Bonita Springs
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 cases of oral or pharyngeal (the passageways from the nose and throat) cancer are diagnosed in America each year. Worldwide, the problem is much greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.
The Importance of Regular Oral Cancer Screenings
Unfortunately, the mortality rate associated with oral cancer is high, not because it’s difficult to detect or diagnose, but due to the fact that the cancer is often not discovered until late in its development. At Bonita Grande dental, every examination involves a comprehensive oral cancer screening. This is the most effective way to detect potential problems before they become life threatening.
An oral cancer screening is a simple process and nothing to be afraid of. Dr. Gostigian will examine your teeth, lips, and gums for any signs of abnormalities. Because we care about your complete safety and well-being, we use a piece of equipment called a Velscope. This is an effective device that helps us see cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions long before they’re detectable during a visual inspection. For instance, what looks like a normal white spot to you may be identified as pre-cancerous. Early oral cancer screening may increase the survivability rate to as much as 90 percent.
The major risk factors for oral and pharyngeal cancer are alcohol and tobacco use. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these account for almost 75% of all oral and pharyngeal cancer in the US. As you might guess, the risk increases with higher consumption. A heavy drinker who also smokes more than a pack of cigarettes per day is 24 times more likely to develop oral cancer than people who do not use either substance.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
In many instances, a patient can have symptoms of oral cancer and not realize it. Some signs you should look for are:
- A sore in your mouth that won’t heal
- A red or white patch on the gums or mouth that doesn’t go away
- A chronic sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- A feeling of numbness on your tongue or other part of your mouth
- Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
- Changes in your voice
- A lump or mass in your neck
Call Today for Your Oral Cancer Screening
It’s critical to schedule regular checkups and cleanings at Bonita Grande dental because abnormal tissue that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous can appear to be completely normal to the untrained eye.
Unfortunately, the rate of oral cancer rates is also increasing among patients who have no known risk factors such as heavy drinking, smoking, or family history. This fact alone makes it more critical than ever to be screened for oral cancer during every semi-annual exam. Please contact our Bonita Springs Dental office today to schedule your next exam and oral cancer screening.