Oral Cancer Screenings for Fayetteville Dental Patients
Oral cancer doesn’t get a lot of mainstream attention, but it’s a very serious problem. Every year, it kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin cancer. In fact, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, it claims approximately one life every hour - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Certain behaviors are known to contribute to oral cancer’s development. Chief among them are tobacco use and the excessive consumption of alcohol. Other contributing factors include constant sunlight exposure, frequent cheek or lip biting, and dentures that don’t fit properly. HPV is another significant cause of oral cancer, for both women and men. In fact, at least a quarter of all cases are related to HPV.
Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?
The answer to this question is simple. In too many cases, when an oral cancer diagnosis is made, it doesn’t occur until the disease has already reached an advanced stage. At this point, a successful recovery may not be possible.
This is why we recommend oral cancer screenings for all our patients. Through a careful exam, we hope to identify oral cancer as early as possible. An early diagnosis is your best hope for making a successful recovery.
The Signs of Oral Cancer
While there are certain signs to watch out most, about 10 percent of oral cancer patients never noticed a change in their health before receiving a diagnosis.
The most common signs of oral cancer include:
- A bleeding sore that refuses to heal
- Discolored oral tissue
- A small eroded area, or a lump or rough spot in the mouth
- Pain, tenderness or number on the lips or anywhere in the mouth
Would you like to learn more about the importance of oral cancer screenings? Contact one of our offices in Fayetteville with your questions or to schedule your next screening.