Oral Cancer Exams
The primary goal of a comprehensive oral cancer exam is to identify abnormalities early, which gives the greatest chance of curing the cancer. Unfortunately, while the American Cancer Society recommends that people have an oral cancer exam annually, statistics show that only about one in five patients had the exam in the past year.
What is an Oral Cancer Exam?
An oral cancer exam is a screening that takes place before you have any symptoms of cancer. While not all oral cancers are curable, it may be easier to treat an abnormality when found early. Unfortunately, often by the time a person notices symptoms, the cancer has begun to spread.
We do not know much about cancer, but scientists today are trying to develop a better understanding to help determine which people are more susceptible to certain types of cancer. Researchers are also interested in the things around us that may cause cancer. This knowledge helps doctors determine who is at risk and should be screened for cancer, which tests are needed, and how often they should be performed.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
A variety of factors cause oral cancer, including poor diet and nutrition deficiencies. Lifestyle choices and habits can also impact your risk. For example, patients who use tobacco, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, or are HPV positive are at increased risk.
While symptoms such as bleeding gums and changes in the appearance of your tongue may cause you to worry, these symptoms are rarely a sign of cancer. Typically, bleeding gums, changes in your tongue’s appearance, inflammation, or infection are associated with poor oral hygiene.
Contact South Holston Dental Designs
At South Holston Dental Designs, we are a full-service dental care facility, and our professional staff is dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality care available. We understand how visiting the dentist can be unnerving, but we also realize how important your oral health is to your overall health. To learn more about oral cancer exams and how we can help you maintain good oral health, contact us today.