As a preventive care measure, most dentists advocate an oral cancer screening during your regular dental check-up. During your oral exam, Dr. Sand Wall will examine the inside of your mouth for lumps, suspicious lesions, and discolorations, such as red or white patches. Oral cancer is often found in places you may not look, such as under the tongue or inside the cheeks.
Most mouth sores are noncancerous. However, if Dr. Sand Wall finds a sore of unusual appearance, she may perform a painless oral brush biopsy to test the abnormal tissue for cancer. The objective, as with any type of cancer, is to detect oral cancer early when it is most easily treated.
Oral Cancer Statistics
The American Cancer Society estimates that 35,000 people will get oral cancer in 2012. The number of fatalities for 2012 is estimated at approximately 6,800. The good news, however, is that the death rate from oral cancer has declined steadily since the 1970s – a statistic many experts credit to early detection.*
Individuals at Higher Risk for Oral Cancer
People with certain risk factors should be particularly vigilant about their oral cancer screenings. These individuals include people who use tobacco products, those who consume alcohol heavily, regularly spend time in the sun without protection, or have previously been diagnosed with oral cancer.
You can reduce your risk of oral cancer by protecting your skin with high-SPF sunblock, by giving up tobacco products, moderating alcohol consumption, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Take an Active Role in and Early Detection
You should conduct an oral self-exam at least once a month and, most importantly, see Dr. Sand Wall every six months for a preventive checkup and cleaning. If you notice a mouth sore that does not heal in about two weeks, visit us for an exam.
To schedule your appointment, or just to learn more about Dr. Sand Wall and our team, call our Erlanger, KY dentist office today at 859-344-8500. We serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and other Kentucky communities around the 41018 are. We can’t wait to see your smile!