Oral Cancer Screening | Dentist in Waterford MI
Early diagnosis is the key to a cure
The occurrence of oral cancer had decreased dramatically in the last 30 years, largely in part to advancements in oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer is most prevalent among adults, but seems to affect men and African Americans more than women or any other ethnic group. Statistics show that more than 50 percent of oral cancers have spread to the lymph nodes or other areas by the time a person is diagnosed, which is why it is important to have regular screenings performed by your dentist.
Oral cancer is often found on the lips, the front of the tongue, gums, the inner lining of cheeks, under the tongue, the front roof of the mouth, behind wisdom teeth, the middle region of the pharynx, the back third of the tongue, the soft palate, the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils. The cancer begins in squamous cells, which are slim, smooth cells that line the lips, mouth and oropharnyx.
Oral Cancer Screenings During Routine Checkups
Oral cancer screening is performed by the dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry during routine check-ups. The exam consists of checking for lesions, abnormal white and red patches of cells referred to as leukoplakia and erythroplakia, respectively. If lesions are detected, your dentist will conduct a few procedures, including staining, cytology or biopsy, to determine if the abnormal tissue is cancerous or precancerous.
Lower your risk factors!
Oral cancer screens are important, but prevention is the key to protecting your dental health. If you are a tobacco or alcohol user, your chances of developing oral cancer increases. Tobacco products of any kind, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars and pipes all carry a high risk of oral cancer. Heavy alcohol use, being infected with a specific type of human papillomavirus (HPV), lip exposure to sunlight and chewing betel nuts all increase the risk of developing oral cancer, especially if you’re a male.
If you fall into any of these categories, it is important to visit the dentists at Stannard & Studt & Wolf Dentistry to receive your routine cancer screening. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today; it just might save your life.