01 Feb When To Seek An Oral Cancer Screening
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Understanding the risk factors and warning signs means you can seek a screening and diagnosis, increasing your chance of a full recovery. With our team of orthognathic surgery experts in Richmond, VA, we can conduct a screening and biopsies to protect your smile!
The Warning Signs of Cancer and Risk Factors
How do you know if you suffer from oral cancer? If you attend regular checkups and cleanings, then your general dentist may notice the first signs and refer you to our office. You could also contact our team should you notice these changes yourself. Common warning signs include lesions, sores, or rough patches that don’t heal after two weeks. Hoarseness, changes to your voice, unexplained weight loss, and areas of the interior of your mouth with red and white splotches are common warning signs, and should not be ignored. Risk factors include excessive UV light exposure, excess alcohol consumption, and the use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes. However! Oral cancer has developed in smiles where people don’t have these risk factors, so even if you don’t smoke or drink, consider an appointment if you encounter similar symptoms.
Our Screening Process
Our team will employ advanced technology to carefully examine your smile, identifying areas of cancerous or possibly precancerous tissues. Our team can gather a small sample of the sore areas or lump, and will send this to a pathology lab where it will be examined with advanced technology. When the results arrive, our team can determine the next step, and discuss possible treatment options if necessary.
Reducing Your Risk Factors
You can also take steps to lower your risk factors, regardless of age. While people 40 and older are more likely to develop oral cancer, this can also develop in young adults too. Try to limit UV light exposure and take precautions, such as wearing sunscreen. Limit your tobacco consumption and avoid tobacco products. Even seemingly less dangerous options like vaping could leave you at risk. Be sure you attend six-month checkup and cleaning visits with your general dentist, so if warning signs occur that you don’t notice, they can refer you to our office for a screening and if necessary, a biopsy.
If you have any questions about how our team screens for oral cancer, or about biopsies and the steps that follow, then please reach out to our team today.
Schedule a Screening At Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery In Richmond, VA Today!
We want to help you enjoy good oral health and avoid the risk of cancer. Talk to our team at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery in Richmond, VA at (804) 354-1600 today.