Oral cancer is any cancer that affects the throat, mouth, tongue, lips, and sinuses. Evidence shows that certain lifestyle factors, such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and even sun exposure, can contribute to oral cancer development. But still, many who have this condition are non-smokers and drink only occasionally.
At Ryan Rush DDS PLLC in Fort Collins, CO 80526, we offer oral cancer screening during our regular dental exams. In addition, if you have a potential risk factor for oral cancer, we will proactively follow up your screening process.
How Can Oral Cancer Screening Be Beneficial?
Early diagnosis is essential when it comes to surviving oral cancer. If oral cancer is detected in its initial stages, there is an eighty to ninety percent survival rate. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often not detected until it has progressed to an advanced phase. After that point, the survival rate can dip to as low as twenty to thirty percent. We are committed to increase survival rates through early diagnosis. And for that reason, we include oral cancer screening as part of our regular examinations for all patients.
Is Screening Painful?
Oral cancer screening does not involve any pain. The test includes a visual inspection of your mouth, throat, and gums, as well as manual palpitations of these areas. This detailed exam will help determine if you need a biopsy or further diagnostic tests. If you don’t have any apparent symptoms, this quick procedure will ensure you are cancer-free. But in the worst-case scenario where signs are detected, we will have a precise treatment plan to get you back to your total health.
How Often Should You Undergo a Screening?
Dr. Ryan Rush will recommend annual oral cancer screenings for adults over the age of eighteen. For patients with increased risk factors, such as tobacco use, we recommend more frequent screenings. The screening process is painless and consists of a three-to-five minute exam.
Besides undergoing regular screenings, we also recommend contacting your dentist promptly if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sores that don’t heal after fourteen days
- Discolorations or unusual lumps in the mouth
- Constant pain or difficulty in chewing, talking, or swallowing
- Wart-like masses
- Prolonged hoarseness
- Numbness in or around the jaw and mouth
This swift and standard cancer screening conducted during a routine checkup has extreme benefits that are potentially life-saving. Call us at Ryan Rush, DDS PLLC, Dentist Fort Collins CO 80526, at (970) 223-5393 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Rush.