Oral Cancer Screenings
Winston-Salem & Greensboro, NC
Cancer is a frightening word. It doesn’t need a sentence that goes with it. The word cancer can be used a lot of different ways, but they all mean the same thing. Something really scary that you don’t want to have happen to you or someone you love. This year alone, over 15 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. If there is one thing we’ve learned in our fight with cancer, it’s that early detection is the key. The earlier you find a cancer, the easier it is to treat. That’s why cancer screenings are very important, because the earlier we can find a cancer, the more likely we can get you into treatment early and you can kiss cancer goodbye. You may not be aware of it, but every time you come and see us for your checkup, we are checking you for cancer. Keep reading, and let Eric J. Sadler, DDS & Associates tell you more about oral cancer screening in our offices.
What Is Oral Cancer Screening?
When you come in to see us for your regular checkup, we check you for many different things. We check thoroughly for tooth decay, gum disease, and other mouth issues. One of those mouth issues is oral cancer. For many of our patients, the oral cancer screening is short, because they are not at risk. However, if you are using tobacco now, or you had in the past, or you are a heavy drinker, your cancer screening may be more thorough. For you, our first step is to look at your gums, cheeks, mouth, and palate for places that look a bit unusual. We are especially looking for spots or bumps in your mouth. Those weird spots and bumps could be the first sign of oral cancer. It’s really important that we look for those spots and bumps, because there is no pain with the early stages of oral cancer. In fact, you wouldn’t even feel these bumps or spots at all.
People who are at a higher risk of oral cancer need to be screened more thoroughly. Also, if your family has a history of cancer, especially oral cancer, you’ll need to be screened. Tobacco users and heavy drinkers also need to be screened more thoroughly.
To have a more detailed oral cancer screening, we begin by shining a light in all of the areas of your mouth. We do this to make sure that we don’t see any lesions, sores, bumps or anything else that is unusual. We may ask you to drink a blue liquid as well, because when we shine a light in your mouth once you drink it, any problem areas will glow white. If we see anything suspicious, we can do further testing.
The Importance of Those Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are very important. If we can catch oral cancer early, we can get it treated. Oral cancer in the early stages doesn’t really look like anything weird. It looks like a patch of weird skin, or a mouth ulcer, or a bump. Sometimes, it looks like a bad canker sore. Because oral cancer hides in plain sight, and it isn’t painful, it is difficult to diagnose, and it becomes more dangerous. Oral cancer can not only lead to health issues, but it is disfiguring, and can lead to removal of teeth, bone, gums and other mouth tissues. Early screening takes away a lot of that danger. If you have used tobacco in the past, you currently smoke, or you are a heavy drinker, come in and see Eric J. Sadler, DDS & Associates. Or you can give us a call at (336) 331-5271 and let’s get you set up for your cancer screening.