Most people visit their dentist for a cleaning or to treat a cavity, but many do not consider the importance of an oral cancer screening. A cancer screening is one of the most important services a dentist can provide. As with other types of cancer, oral cancer is best treated at the earliest stages. Preventative treatments and screenings help to stay vigilant in this effort. Luckily, the people of Chandler, AZ have the tools and services available to them to handle such an unfortunate condition.
What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?
A cancer screening may be performed during a routine visit, or there are additional testing options if you have any serious concerns. Talk to your dentist to learn more about your options. A simple screening performed during a routine visit can help to identify abnormal cells that may lead to or themselves be cancerous. If a cancerous lesion is detected early on, it is easy to remove, eliminating the problem at the source. However, if you do not visit your dentist frequently enough, any cancerous lesions may grow until the problem is far greater, and treatment becomes complicated. In such a case, the outcome is uncertain, making early detection crucial.
Are You At Risk?
Anyone could potentially develop oral cancer, but there are those who are at a greater risk due to lifestyle choices or family history. Any tobacco use will increase your risk of developing oral cancer greatly. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars or even chew tobacco, you are putting yourself in danger. Heavy alcohol consumption is another major contributor to oral cancer, as is overexposure to the sun. Many do not know this, but too much sun can cause cancerous growths on the lips. The people of Chandler, AZ are no strangers to the sun, so be sure to talk to a dentist or a doctor if you have any concerns.
If your dentist has any concerns, he or she may schedule a follow up appointment to monitor the growth of any problem areas. A biopsy may be performed to study individual cells to determine whether cancer is present. This can be performed by your dentist, or a specialist referral.
Cancer is no joke, and anyone concerned with their oral health should schedule an appointment with their dentist today. At the very least, consult with our dentist during your next routine visit. Knowledge is the first step in preventative cancer treatment.