According to the American Dental Association, it is estimated that 42,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with oral or throat cancer. While no one wants to think about cancer, the best hope for survival if you do have this type of cancer is early detection.
How do you catch mouth cancer early enough to allow for successful treatment? Oral cancer screenings are one of the best ways to catch malignant growths in the early stages. At the office of Dr. Tejal Kakade, we perform oral cancer screenings for our patients during their routine dental visits each year.
Oral cancer can be present with or without symptoms, which is why it is so important to have a screening when you come in for your annual checkup. During your screening, which is quick and painless, a trained dental professional will carefully examine all components of your mouth and look for suspicious lesions or areas of change.
You can also perform monitor your own mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have any of these warning signs, we urge you to make an appointment to come in to our Carrollton office sooner rather than later:
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Any sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal after 14 days
- Any pain, discomfort or difficulty swallowing or moving your tongue/jaw
- Tenderness, numbness or pain in the mouth or lips
- A lump, sore or rough area on the tissues in your mouth
- Teeth that are suddenly misaligned or don’t fit together right
You should also know your personal level of risk for getting oral cancer, which includes factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, chewing tobacco, the human papilloma virus (HPV), a weak immune system, excessive sun exposure and a history of cancer.
Identify Mouth Cancer Early
Oral cancer is serious and can be fatal if it is ignored. The 5-year survival rate for patients with oral cancers averages 64%, but this can be much lower when the cancer is caught in the early stages. With any type of cancer, catching it early expands the treatment options available and typically makes treatment more conservative as well.
Your health is important to us. Dr. Kakade proudly provides comprehensive dental exams for our patients, with oral cancer screening available. Our office accepts most dental plans and we have payment options for any uncovered expenses. Call us today to schedule your next checkup.