At any dental checkup, patients should request an oral cancer screening even if there are no visible symptoms. Read on for questions you can ask about the process. During a routine checkup, dentists will normally look for symptoms and signs of oral cancer, but asking for the screening is never a bad idea. Oral cancer…
How Often Should I Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
The average person knows it is important to have an oral screening performed. However, the typical person likely has no idea how frequently he or she should receive an oral cancer screening. Below, we take a look at how often one may need an oral cancer screening. Abide by this schedule with regular visits to the dentist and the patient will dramatically reduce the chances of going undiagnosed and suffering potentially fatal results.
Frequency of Screenings for Oral Cancer
There are plenty of opinions as to how frequently one should be screened for oral cancer. Though opinions vary quite widely, the average recommendation is a screening for oral cancer every single year. Furthermore, patients will greatly benefit from receiving a screening for oral cancer with each routine office visit. It is best to catch cancer sooner rather than later to give the patient a better chance of fighting it.
While it is prudent to receive an oral cancer screening at least once per year, the amount of time the typical person spends between such screenings will likely end up varying according to risk factors. Those who have high risk factors will likely receive a screening at a higher frequency.
Examples of such risk factors include but are not limited to the use of tobacco or alcohol, HPV exposure, exposure to the sun, family history, diet, gender and age. It is also beneficial to receive an oral cancer screening even if these symptoms are not present to be 100 percent sure. The true danger or oral cancer is that the symptoms may not manifest immediately and be difficult to notice once they do occur.
A Quick and Easy Check
The oral cancer screening process is much faster and easier than most people assume. The typical screening involves a swishing of a special fluid in the mouth. The dentist then looks in the mouth with a flashlight. The dentist might feel along the mouth or the throat. It does not take long to obtain results. Thus, there is no reason to be afraid of an oral cancer screening.
The patient has everything to gain and nothing to lose by having this screening at least one time per year. If you catch your oral cancer early when it is treatable, there is a higher chance of cancer going into remission.
Everyone Should be Checked
Regardless if a patient is at a higher risk for oral cancer or not, everyone should still receive an oral cancer screening at a frequency of at least one time per year. Every single person should receive the screening regardless of age, gender, oral health history and other factors. Patients must not assume that optimal health, lack of dental issues and excellent family health history mean they are not subjected to the threat of oral cancer. There is a chance the patient will develop this cancer, so it is important to receive oral cancer screenings at least once or twice per year.
If you are interested in having an oral cancer screening, a cleaning or a procedure, reach out to us. Schedule an appointment so we can improve your oral health.
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