All cancer threats should be taken seriously, and early detection is always the best chance for effective treatment and survival. Oral cancer is no different, with almost fifty thousand Americans diagnosed with this disease each year, causing over nine thousand deaths. Oral cancer can be present with few symptoms, making it difficult to detect signs on your own.
At Monaco Dentistry, we offer oral cancer screenings with our general dentistry treatments to give our patients a fighting chance of catching this disease in the early stages to begin treatment.
Oral cancer can form in the throat, tongue, gum tissue and other areas of the mouth. Certain lifestyle choices and genetics can be factors in your level of risk for this type of cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use are high-risk factors. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, those who both drink alcohol and smoke/chew tobacco have an estimated 15 times higher risk of oral cancer. However, anyone can develop oral cancer, and catching it as soon as possible is the best hope for effective treatment.
You can have oral cancer in the early stages and have no visual signs, pain or symptoms. However, there are often tiny changes in the tissue in the mouth that can be identified through oral screening. Noticeable red or white spots or lumps and pain in the tissues of the mouth and/or throat are symptoms you can watch for. However, the minor tissue changes often occur well before these symptoms and at much earlier stages in the cancer progression. We use specialized equipment that can detect these tissue changes. This gives you a chance to get further testing to determine if cancer is the cause or if some other health issue is present.
We care about your dental and overall health at Monaco Dentistry. This is why we offer oral cancer screenings as part of our wellness and preventive oral care services. The screening is quick and painless, and it can be done as part of your annual checkup at our office in Apollo Beach. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.