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Oral Cancer Screenings: Your Best Defense Against Oral Cancer

by | Apr 12, 2024 | Oral Cancer

oral cancer screenings

Did you know that oral cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide? In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 54,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Fortunately, early detection is key to successful treatment, which is why our Grand Rapids, MI dentist, Dr. Elizabeth White, offers oral cancer screenings as part of our commitment to your overall health.

To learn more about oral cancer screening, contact Polished Dental Care today by calling (616) 698-6663.

What are Oral Cancer Screenings?

Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless exams that are designed to detect early signs of oral cancer. During the screening, your dentist will carefully examine your mouth, tongue, and throat for any abnormal growths, lesions, or discolorations. If any suspicious areas are found, your dentist may recommend further testing, such as a biopsy, to confirm or rule out cancer.

Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer

In addition to regular screenings, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Some common signs of oral cancer include:

  • A sore or ulcer that does not heal
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Pain or discomfort in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth or tongue

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your Grand Rapids dentist right away.

Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings

  • Early Detection: One of the benefits of oral cancer screenings is the early detection of oral cancer and precancerous conditions. Detecting oral cancer in its early stages significantly improves the chances of successful treatment and a more favorable prognosis. 
  • Improved Survival Rates: Treatment of oral cancer early on can lead to higher survival rates. 
  • Reduced Treatment Intensity: When oral cancer is detected early, the treatment required may be less invasive and less aggressive. This can result in a lower risk of complications and a better overall quality of life during and after treatment.
  • Preservation of Oral Function: Early detection and treatment can often preserve a person’s ability to speak, eat, and maintain good oral health. Advanced-stage oral cancer may require more extensive surgery, leading to functional impairments.
  • Increased Awareness: Routine oral cancer screenings can raise awareness about the risk factors associated with oral cancer, such as tobacco and alcohol use. This can encourage individuals to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk.

Candidacy for Oral Cancer Screenings

Anyone can benefit from an oral cancer screening, but some people are at higher risk than others. Factors that increase your risk of oral cancer include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, a history of oral cancer or other types of cancer, and exposure to certain types of HPV (human papillomavirus). If you have any of these risk factors, it is especially important to have regular oral cancer screenings.

Early Detection and Prevention at Polished Dental Care

At Polished Dental Care, we are committed to helping you maintain optimal oral health, which includes regular oral cancer screenings. If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us by calling (616) 698-6663 today. Early detection is your best defense against oral cancer, so don’t wait – schedule your screening today.

oral cancer screenings

About the Author

<a href="https://polisheddentalcaremi.com/author/liz-white/" target="_self">Liz White</a>

Liz White

Dr. Liz White received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Albion College before completing her Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2012.

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