Spotting the Early Signs: How an Oral Cancer Screening Can Save a Life

added on: April 7, 2019

a woman holding her throat as if it’s soreYou have cancer. These three words can change your life. In a matter of seconds, you can go from feeling fearless to fearful. For many individuals who’ve been diagnosed with oral cancer, those words have come too late. When dealing with this disease, your chances of survival dramatically decrease if it’s not found in its early stages. But the good news is that is doesn’t have to be that way! Receiving an oral cancer screening in Bend from your dentist can give you the peace of mind you need. Find out why screening is important and what he’s looking for during the process.

Why the Fuss? The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer, just like any other type of cancer, is no laughing matter. Each year, more and more people die due to a lack of early detection. When it comes to beating oral cancer, the only way is to be screened early and often. Your dentist is an ally in this fight, and he wants you to attend your regularly scheduled six-month appointments so that proper screening can be completed.

An estimated 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019, and of that number, 10,000 will die. Oral cancer can develop on your lips, cheeks, tongue, throat, roof or floor of your mouth, or gums, and if it spreads, the likeliness for successful treatment is slim. However, by allowing your dentist in Bend to conduct a thorough screening, you are taking the first step in beating the disease should any abnormalities be found.

The Checklist: What Your Dentist is Looking for During a Screening

Your dentist knows what to look for and what to observe in order to determine if there are any areas of concern. When screening, he will be looking for:

  • Swollen lymph nodes or jaw
  • Oral sores that are not healing
  • Red or white patches throughout the mouth
  • Discoloration of the gums

This quick and painless process will include a visual and tactile examination. Your dentist may even use some of the latest dental technology, such as an intra-oral camera to show you what he sees when looking in your mouth. This will help you to clearly understand what he’s talking about should he find an abnormality. But don’t worry! If he doesn’t, he will walk you through the next steps to ensure you receive a proper and thorough diagnosis.

Don’t let your fear of developing cancer keep you from taking a proactive approach. Waiting too long can have unfortunate consequences, so talk to your dentist about oral cancer screenings today.

About the Author
Dedicated life-long learner, Dr. Joshua Prentice earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. After graduation, he went on to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Oklahoma at the College of Dentistry in Oklahoma City. Dr. Prentice and his team strive to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Providing open and honest communication through patient education and gentle care is what we believe are the goals to successful dentistry. If you’re looking for a dental team who is dedicated to caring for your dental needs, visit our website or call (541) 382-3691.

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