Your oral health is more important than you might think. While you might diligently brush and floss your teeth, there’s one aspect of oral health that often goes overlooked: oral cancer. The good news is that oral cancer is treatable and even preventable when detected early through regular screenings.
Oral cancer, or mouth cancer, can occur in any part of the mouth. It can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floors of the mouth, hard and soft palates, and sinuses. This cancer typically develops from the cells lining the mouth and can manifest in various forms, including squamous cell carcinoma. The key to successful treatment is early detection, which is why regular screenings are vital.
- Tobacco Use
- Alcohol Consumption
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Sun Exposure
Prevention and Self-Examination
In addition to regular screens, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Practice safe sex.
- Talk to a doctor about the HPV vaccine and if you’re eligible.
- Protect your lips.
- Use lip balm with SPF.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Self-examination – Look for red or white patches, lumps, or tenderness.
The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
Regular oral cancer screenings can be a lifesaver. Dentists and medical professionals can perform these screenings as part of your routine dental check-ups. During a screening, they will examine your mouth, throat, and neck for any unusual changes or signs of cancer. Early detection greatly increases the likelihood of effective therapy and survival.
Remember that oral cancer can develop without any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Therefore, it’s important to get regular screenings, especially if you have any of the previously stated risk factors.
Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening Today
Oral cancer is serious but treatable. By understanding the risk factors and the importance of regular screenings, you can take steps to protect your oral health and overall well-being. Don’t wait until you notice symptoms – be proactive in caring for your oral health starting today. Schedule a consultation at McDowell Dental Group, located and serving Abington, PA, and the surrounding areas. Call 215-885-0555 to schedule your screening.