Oral cancer affects thousands of people in the US, and it is the cause of one death every hour. One of the most commonly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed forms of cancer, this disease is often not found until the latest stages when treatment is less likely to be effective. April is oral cancer awareness month. One of the best ways you can celebrate is by taking the time to better understand the warning signs and risk factors for oral cancer and receive a screening from a skilled professional, during a preventive dentistry appointment.
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are fast and comfortable. We begin by asking some questions to help assess non-visual cues associated with oral cancer. Then, your oral and facial structures are reviewed for warning signs of oral cancer.
How Will I Know I Have Oral Cancer?
The only way to know for sure you have oral cancer is to receive a diagnosis from a professional, but you should let your dentist or physician know right away if you notice any of the following warning signs of oral cancer:
- Changes in color or texture of soft tissue
- Sores that don’t heal
- Lumps or hard spots in soft tissue
- Swollen or hardened lymph nodes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic sore throat or hoarse voice
Who Needs Oral Cancer Screenings?
In short, everyone should receive oral cancer screenings. While those who use tobacco are at higher risk, 25% or more of those diagnosed each year do not engage in any of the high risk behaviors associated with oral cancer. That includes adults and children. Skilled dental and medical professionals are happy to offer safe, comfortable oral cancer screenings for every patient to reduce risks for oral cancer-related deaths.
Meet the Family Dentistry of Sioux Falls Team
The dentists and dental care team at Family Dentistry of Sioux Falls are happy to offer oral cancer screenings as part of every six month dental exam. Because dental professionals are familiar with the function of oral structures, they are the ideal practitioners to provide patients with oral cancer screenings. If you haven’t visited the dentist in more than six months or you want to find out more about oral cancer screenings, call our Sioux Falls dentist and team to find out more today. We look forward to helping you with all of your oral health care goals, including regular screenings for oral cancer.