Believe it or not, oral cancer rates have increased in the past 25 years. Despite tobacco use having dropped significantly, oral cancer screenings are still as important as ever. The survival rates of oral cancer have improved as well. The five-year survival rate is now up to 63% and should only increase as science and technology improves.
Despite the improvements made, oral cancer is still a serious medical condition. At Johnson Dental in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, we perform oral cancer screenings often for our patients. In fact, one of the reasons we recommend you visit our dental office for a checkup every 3 to six months is to check for oral cancer.
Before you call and make your next dental appointment, let our knowledgeable staff fill you in on the importance of oral cancer screenings.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
When you stop by our Wheat Ridge dental office for an oral cancer screening, there are a number of issues we will look at. Swelling and lumps in the mouth could be cause for alarm. If we find abnormalities like this, your dentist will perform a biopsy. With this, we will be able to analyze the tissue sample for any abnormal cell growth, which could very well be oral cancer.
In addition to lumps and swelling in the mouth, there are a number of issues that you can notice on your own. Unexplained bleeding, for example, could be a warning sign of oral cancer and should be looked at by one of our dentists immediately. Additionally, mouth numbness, throat soreness, difficulty chewing, and weight loss could all be additional symptoms of oral cancer.
Causes of Oral Cancer
Now you know what to look for, but what causes oral cancer? There are a lot of factors that can increase your risk for oral cancer. For example, men are twice as likely to develop the disease than women. Some additional factors that increase your risk for oral cancer are:
- Tobacco Use: Obviously, smoking and chewing tobacco are some of the most common causes of oral cancer. In fact, users of chewing tobacco are at 50 times the risk for the disease as non-users.
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Alongside tobacco use is chronic alcohol consumption. This can increase your risk for oral cancer greatly.
- Genetics: If your family has a history of cancer, then you are naturally at a higher risk for developing oral cancer. This is only increased if you use tobacco products.
Contact Johnson Dental Today!
As you can tell, oral cancer screenings are as important as ever. If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above or you’re at a higher risk for developing the disease, we can perform an oral cancer screening for you today! You can contact our Wheat Ridge dental office here or call us at 303.422.8748 to schedule your appointment.