April 7, 2017
You and your loved ones get, colonoscopies, routine dermatology examinations and other cancer check-ups as your primary care physician advises. What about your six-month oral cancer screening? After all, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and Dr. James Block, your dentist in Fremont, urges you to come in for your regular dental exam. It includes a simple check for oral cancer, one of the fastest and simplest ways to ensure your mouth–and the rest of you–stays as healthy as possible.
Oral Cancer is Widespread
The Oral Cancer Foundation states that about 48,000 American adults receive a diagnosis of oral cancer each year. Affecting the mouth, lips and throat, oral cancer often exhibits no obvious symptoms and can even hide from primary care physicians. However, other oral cancers are more noticeable, showing signs such as:
- Flat white or red patches in the mouth
- Lumps or swellings in the mouth and about the face and neck
- Sores which do not resolve within one to two weeks
- A persistent hoarseness
- Difficulty eating and swallowing
- Numbness of the face
- An earache on one side
- Persistent cough
- A feeling that something is lodged in the throat
While oral cancer affects people of all ages and walks of life, men between the ages of 40 and 60 are more frequently diagnosed than women.
Oral Cancer Has Some Risk Factors
Oral cancer is more common among smokers, people who abuse alcohol, people with weak immune systems and those exposed to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Sun exposure is also a risk factor. The Oral Cancer Foundation indicates that while men diagnosed with oral cancer used to outnumber women, this gap has closed significantly in recent years.
Oral Cancer Screening With Your Family Dentist in Fremont
Screening with Dr. Block is quick, comfortable and a routine part of every semi-annual dental exam at James Block Dentistry. Dr. Block:
- Visually inspects all the soft tissues of the mouth, including the back of the throat, the tongue, under the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums and lips
- Looks for sores, changes in color, swellings or lumps
- Feels the facial muscles and lymph nodes under the chin and at the sides of the neck
- Evaluates medical history and medications
This process takes just a couple of minutes but gives your dentist valuable information about your current oral health status. The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research says that regular oral cancer screenings for young, middle-aged and older adults increase the chances of early detection. Early detection makes oral cancer highly treatable and curable.
Get Your Oral Cancer Screening Done
Is it time for your regular visit with Dr. Block? Why not contact his office today to schedule your appointment? You can get that wonderful assurance that you are on top of all aspects of your oral health.
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