The easiest cancers to treat and those with a high survival rate are those that attack the mouth. Unfortunately, less than 30% of the population is aware of this. Consequently, many oral cancers go undetected until they reach the later stages of development. At this point, the survival rate drops drastically. The vast majority of dental patients miss out on having oral cancer screenings. At Shadle Smiles, we are concerned for all aspects of your oral health and provide oral cancer screenings as part of our general dentistry options for our patients.
Most oral cancers can be cured when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Too often the necessary treatment is not applied until late in the game, driving mortality rates up higher than they need be. With proper treatment, most individuals go on to live long, healthy lives.
Oral cancers do not present with alarming symptoms such as pain or highly unusual appearance. This is the main reason they often go undetected. The majority of these cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. If you do not know what to look for, it is easy to overlook a possible problem. At Shadle Smiles we know what types of anomalies to look for in the mouth and neck that could indicate a problem.
Identify Mouth Cancer Early
Oral cancer screening is a painless process that takes only a few minutes. The dentist will examine the soft tissues of your mouth including your tongue, cheeks and lips and palpate your neck for any signs of trouble. This simple screening usually reveals any signs of concern.
Lesions in the mouth, or red or white patches that do not clear up within two weeks should be brought to the attention of your dentist. Any lumps or nodules that appear within the soft tissues of your mouth or around your neck should also be examined. Some oral cancers may look like a canker sore in the early stages of development.
We perform comprehensive dental examinations including cancer screenings at Shadle Smiles. If you notice any unusual spots or lumps around your mouth or neck, be sure to let your dentist know. Contact our practice, and schedule an appointment. You can survive oral cancer when it is detected and treated early.