Oral Cancer: Have You Been Screened This Year?

Dental checkups are a crucial part of your health plan. You don’t need to wait for a dental emergency to receive dental care. Regularly visiting our dentist should be the norm even for people with excellent oral hygiene simply because our dentist in Surrey can do much more than clean your teeth.

We also offer oral cancer screenings near you that can be carried out during your routine checkups. Getting screened for oral cancer is no longer an issue for people in the high-risk category since the disease is on the rise. If you are over 18 years, you should visit our dentist in Surrey for oral cancer screening at least once a year.

For a long time, oral cancer survival rates have been low since the disease is often caught when it has advanced when the chances of treating it have dwindled. This is why visiting our experienced dentists is essential since one of the oral cancer screening benefits is early detection. We have the technology that will help our experienced dentists detect any abnormalities.

Oral Cancer Is More Prevalent and Deadly Than You Think

In the recent past, oral cancer was considered a smokers’ disease. Plus, more people above the age of 50 had the disease. However, this is not the trend today. Young people have joined the race because the disease can be caused by the HPV16 virus, a sexually transmitted virus.

We don’t mean to put fear in your heart and make it sound grim, but statistics show that the occurrence of the disease in Americans this year alone will be 53,000. It is estimated that 132 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each day.

Even worse, it is estimated that one person per hour will succumb to the disease. In other words, close to 8,000 people are expected to die of oral cancer this year.

Oral Cancer Is Treatable If Caught Early

The main reason the death rate associated with oral cancer is very high is not that the disease is hard to diagnose but because it is discovered late. The best part is that routine dental visits will enable our dentist to screen you for oral cancer way before the symptoms show up.

Another issue that makes early discovery a challenge is the advent of the HPV16. The virus is currently one of the leading causes of the disease. The symptoms caused by the HPV16 virus begin to show at the posterior part of the mouth, particularly the base of the tongue, tonsils, and oropharynx.

Many times, there won’t be visible discolorations or lesions that have been known as the warning signs of the disease. Since the HPV16 virus is active in anyone who is sexually active, you should get screened each year even though you are a non-smoker.

Are You In the High-Risk Category of Developing Oral Cancer?

As mentioned earlier, the disease was considered a smokers’ disease, but not anymore. Here are the other risk factors:

  • Alcohol

If you are a frequent and heavy alcohol user, you will be at an increased risk of getting oral cancer. The risk increases when you use alcohol and tobacco together.

  • Prolonged Sun Exposure

If you spend many hours under the sun, without sun protection, then you can have cancer in your lips.

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is also known to cause oral cancer. This is one of the major reasons why most young people are getting oral cancer.

Other factors associated with oral cancer are:

  • Being male
  • Being older than 45
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Weakened immune system
  • Marijuana use

How Can Our Dentist Help?

When you come for oral cancer screening, our dentist will perform a series of examinations to detect any abnormalities. In other words, our dentist in Surrey will be looking for lesions, lumps, bumps or sores in your mouth.

If there are any signs of precancerous lesions, our dentist may decide to perform more tests to ascertain whether the claims are true. If so, you will be referred to an oral surgeon or doctor to perform further examinations.

Oral Cancer Is a Silent Killer

One thing that makes oral cancer a dangerous disease is that it might advance without perceivable symptoms. So, by the time you see or feel the symptoms, it might be too late. You might not even feel pain, and yet the disease is progressing.

Don’t Wait. Contact Us Today

Oral cancer screening should be a part of your routine dental checkup. Remember, the disease can be treated if it is caught early. Contact us at U Smile Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.