Living in the sunny state of Arizona, you probably hear more about the dangers of skin cancer than the dangers of oral cancer, but oral cancer is a serious and potentially deadly disease. Nearly 50,000 adults are diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer each year in the United States.
This type of cancer tends to present at an older age than many other cancers. The average age of diagnosis is 62. For those who catch oral cancer early, the survival rate is much higher, which makes mouth cancer screenings of vital importance for all older adults.
We offer this service at our Sun City dental office. We know it can be easy to let preventative care slide. You get busy, put it off and suddenly years have gone by without a screening. However, to ensure this cancer is caught early and treated correctly, early detection remains key. If you have never had a screening or you have been putting it off, it’s time to make your oral health a priority.
Oral cancer is a catchall term for cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth area, including:
You may also hear it referred to as oral cavity cancer. Oropharyngeal is a similar though separate form of cancer that affects the throat. Sometimes tumors in the mouth or on the lips can spread to other parts of the body, including the throat or other places in the head.
Many different things can lead to the development of oral cancer, and some of them are similar to the causes of other types of cancer. These include:
You shouldn’t wait until you show symptoms of oral cancer to go for a screening. If you are exhibiting any of these signs however, you should make sure to come in for an examination at our Sun City dental office right away. The longer you wait to get screened, the longer you delay treatment.
Some symptoms of oral cancer may mimic those of a common cold, such as a sore throat. When you exhibit a combination of these symptoms over the course of more than two weeks, that’s when it’s time to call your dentist. Signs may include:
The biggest advantage of scheduling regular mouth cancer screenings in Sun City is that you can catch the disease early. You want to get treatment as quickly as possible, and regular screenings allow you to do this.
Dr. Donoho will inspect your mouth to look for abnormalities or changes since your last visit. Regular monitoring also gives him a better idea of what is normal for your mouth.
Looking after your oral hygiene as you get older means scheduling preventative visits to take care of your mouth. Contact us today to set up a mouth cancer screening in Sun City.