Thibodaux, LA, dentist explains the importance of oral cancer screening
Every day in the United States, about 145 new people become diagnosed with mouth cancers, and a person dies every hour each day from the disease. However, when oral cancer is caught in its earliest stages, it has a survival rate of up to 80 to 90 percent. At Acadia Family Dentistry in Thibodaux, LA, Dr. Le cares about not just your oral health but also your overall health and well-being and provides oral cancer screenings to detect these cancers early on before they become life-threatening.
The importance of oral cancer screening
The importance of early detection through screening for many types of cancers—such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and skin cancer—have become popularized through mainstream media and public health campaigns. But did you know that oral cancer screenings can be just as important? For more than 10 years, the rate of occurrence of oral and oropharyngeal cancers has been increasing annually. In particular, the risk of developing oral cancer is higher in patients with the following risk factors:
- Smoking or other tobacco use (cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco)
- Heavy alcohol use
- Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Being older or male
- Inadequate nutrition
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
- Weakened immune system
However, even if you don’t have any of the above risk factors, it does not mean you cannot develop the disease, and many people don’t find it until it is at a late stage. That has contributed to an overall death rate of approximately 43% at five years from diagnosis. That is why routine oral cancer screenings are so important.
What happens during an oral cancer screening
It is easy to get screened for oral cancer; in fact, it can be done at your routine cleaning and check-up. Oral cancer screenings are fast and pain-free – no invasive instruments are required. Dr. Le will first visually examine your mouth for any signs of cancer or pre-cancer, such as lumps, bumps, or sores. Using gloves, Dr. Le will then feel inside your mouth for any suspicious areas that may not be visible but can be felt, such as areas of thickened tissue.
To schedule your appointment at Acadia Family Dentistry, call our Thibodaux, LA office today at (985) 303-2920.
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