Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Though it was once thought to mainly affect older men with a history of tobacco use, oral cancer has begun to affect more and more Americans each year. With this, there’s a growing need for oral cancer screenings, as it’s best and most easily treated when it’s caught early. If not caught early, however, oral cancer can have devastating effects. While many risk factors lie within genetics, you can still do your part to reduce your risk for oral cancer, in addition to having a screening done every year.

Solana Beach dentist, Dr. Robert Rosenfeld provides nearby residents with oral cancer screenings as part of his general dentistry services. At our practice, we know how serious oral cancer is, and we’d like to share that information with our valued patients in an effort to help them avoid the disease. Take a moment to learn the importance of oral cancer screenings with Dr. Robert Rosenfeld! First, let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind this serious issue.

Oral Cancer: US Statistics

Though it may be difficult to hear, experts suggest that over 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a form of oral cancer is 2016 alone! What’s even more concerning, though, is the five-year survival rate of those diagnosed is just about 65%. While these numbers are certainly alarming, oral cancer can be detected quite early and effectively treated. However, in order for it to be detected, regular oral cancer screenings are absolutely necessary.

Of course, the earlier oral cancer is caught, the better. When cancer is caught in the first stage, or localized stage, the survival rate is nearly 85%. With this, the importance of oral cancer screenings should be quite clear. By having one done every year, you can ensure you’re free of oral cancer or help prevent the disease from progressing if you are indeed diagnosed. So, are you at risk for oral cancer?

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

As mentioned previously, oral cancer was once thought to typically affect just older men with a long history of tobacco use, however, this is certainly no longer the case. In more recent years, doctors and dentists alike have reported more cases of oral cancer even within the younger population. Now, it’s advised that everyone between the ages of 25 and 50 have oral cancer screenings once a year, as part of their general dentistry checkups.

While you should have a screening completed every year, you should also be aware of the many risk factors and symptoms associated with this concerning disease. First, let’s take a look at the risk factors:

  • Age (patients 40 years and older are at a higher risk)
  • Smoking and other forms of tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Poor diet
  • Gender (men are more prone than women)
  • Constant sun exposure

Symptoms:

  • Red and/or white patches within the mouth
  • Bleeding spots
  • Lumps inside the mouth
  • Pain when biting down

General Dentistry Solana Beach: Oral Cancer Screenings

Considering the statistics on oral cancer and the ease of screenings, there’s really no excuse to skip out on screenings. Included in general dentistry, oral cancer screenings are quick and easy, and you can have them done right here in Solana Beach with Dr. Rosenfeld.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can contact our practice at 858.755.1189 or contact us here.