Have You Been Screened for Oral Cancer?
An average of 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Early detection is critical to ensuring that cancer treatments are effective. If you live in or around Dearborn, MI, and have not been screened for oral cancer, our doctors can perform the straightforward screening during your annual dental exam or at a separate visit. Dr. Mohanad Ballani, Dr. Mark Luria, and Dr. Rena Allswang are committed to protecting our patients' overall health with the most conservative methods possible.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The diagnosis of oral cancer requires an examination by a trained medical professional. Individuals who develop these types of cancer often have:
- A chronic lesion or sore that will not heal on its own
- Persistent pain in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- A lump in the soft tissues that surround the mouth
- A white patch on the gums, tongue, or tonsil
- Change in voice quality
The survival rate of patients with oral cancer is 57 percent after five years but the low survival rate is largely due to late diagnosis. It is important to alert your doctor or dentist of any signs you notice.
Am I a Candidate?
Oral screenings are generally recommended beginning at the age of 18. The Oral Cancer Foundation recommends that patients undergo oral cancer screening each year. During your dental exam or cleaning at our Dearborn dental office, one of our dentists will explain the benefits and cost of oral cancer screening.
Oral cancer screenings can detect the signs of oral cancer early on, preventing the need for more invasive treatments.
Known risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Gender: Oral cancer is twice as likely to develop in males as it is in females.
- Age: The average age of individuals who are diagnosed with oral cancer is 62.
- Environmental factors: Individuals who are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light are at higher risk for developing oral cancer.
- Genetics: Individuals with a family history of oral cancer are more likely to develop the disease.
- Tobacco use: Around 80 percent of individuals who develop oral cancer regularly use tobacco products.
- Alcohol use: Around 70 percent of individuals who are diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy consumers of alcohol.
Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings offer many oral health benefits. The straightforward procedure is very affordable and can be completed in several minutes at our office. Early detection can prevent the need for invasive cancer treatments and greatly improve your chances of recovery if you are diagnosed with the disease.
During your screening, one of our dentists will use a gloved hand to carefully feel the insides of your cheeks and lips while searching for abnormalities, such as white patches or thickened areas. Advanced imaging techniques may be used as well.
Gain Peace of Mind by Scheduling Your Next Visit
Cancer screenings can catch oral cancer in its early stages when it is easier to treat. This simple procedure can also provide peace of mind if you have concerns about your risk, such as a family history of the disease. To schedule your next visit to our Dearborn dental office, please contact our office online or call (313) 565-5507.