Annually, 35,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. Of this number, 8,000 people die from the disease.
According to a dentist in Sterling Heights, the number of new cases has substantially increased, especially among people aged below 30 years old, including those who do not belong to high -risk groups. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry reports that 25 percent of new patients diagnosed with oral cancer do not belong to high-risk groups.
It also does not help that oral cancer often goes undetected for years for the simple reason that its early stages is usually painless. When the disease is detected at a later time, the cancer cells have already spread and the patients often succumb to chronic pain.
Fortunately, the disease can be easily detected through oral cancer screening. And once detected during the early stages, the disease can be successfully treated. In fact, early detection and treatment can lead to a higher survival rate.
Here are four reasons to get an oral cancer screening:
Your chance of survival increases
The five-year survival rate among oral cancer patients is 60 percent. That rate increases by at least 20 percent if the disease is detected and treated early.
The screening process is simple
Oral cancer screening can be done during a routine dental checkup. In some instances, your dentist may perform additional tests.
Furthermore, the test does not require any preparation on your part. During the examination, your dentist will check your mouth, looking for signs like red or white patches and/or sores. He or she may also check for lumps and other irregularities.
You do not have to pay for it separately
The screening can be done during a routine dental checkup. This means that you do not have to pay extra to get tested. However, if your dentist recommends follow-up procedures, you will need to pay for these.
A screening can save your life
Oral cancer screening is a must for people who belong into high-risk groups. These include smokers, heavy drinkers of alcohol, people with significant sun exposure, and patients who have been previously diagnosed with oral cancer. Quite simply, you have nothing to lose with an oral cancer screening.
Should your dentist discover signs of oral cancer, you will be asked to come back in a few weeks’ time for a follow-up visit. Your dentist will check if the lesions or other signs detected have changed or grown.
Your dentist may also ask you to undergo a biopsy procedure to confirm the presence of cancer cells. Call your trusted Sterling Heights dentist today!