Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?

An estimated 49,670 adults will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone according to Cancer.net, and yet the general population is still not aware of the importance of oral cancer screenings. Contrary to popular belief, smoking and tobacco use aren’t the only potential causes of oral cancer. Factors such as alcohol use, sun exposure, age, and gender can all influence a person’s level of risk for this dangerous disease, and even non-smokers need to get yearly screenings for signs and symptoms.

Early Detection and Prevention

So why are oral cancer screenings important? Although oral cancer has a high rate of diagnosis, it also has a high 5-year survival rate when caught early on. When people aren’t aware of the symptoms, however, they don’t seek proper treatment until it may be too late. It’s recommended that adults, especially those over the age of 40, perform an oral cancer screening at home or make an appointment with the dentist in order to check themselves for any symptoms that may be present.

Oral Cancer Screening Process

The oral cancer screening procedure usually consists of checking for the following signals: red or white patches on any part of the mouth, unusual lumps, pain upon biting or clenching your teeth, mouth sores that won’t heal, numbness, or any other pains or symptoms that are new to you. It’s important to note that oral cancer can appear on any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, inner cheeks, and gums. If you’re performing your own screening at home, be sure not to neglect these areas.

Overall, while oral cancer can be a deadly disease, it’s also highly treatable when caught early on. By understanding the importance of oral cancer screenings, adults can remain aware of any unusual changes in their mouth cavity and catch the disease before it’s too late.