During the month of April dental and medical health professionals across the country are recognizing Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Over 45,000 people are diagnosed every year. Of this number, nearly half will succumb to the disease within only five years. However, by catching the issue early with a screening you can increase your chances of recovering. Let’s look at five benefits of oral cancer screenings.
Advantages of Oral Cancer Screening
- The procedure takes minutes: The doctor begins by performing a visual exam, looking for any possible cancerous or precancerous areas.
- We perform them as part of a checkup: The American Dental Association recommends that all people have at least two checkups per year. For adults, the checkup will involve a visual scan for signs or tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. We urge you to schedule a checkup if you haven’t already. Remember, catching a dental problem early on allows for simpler and less invasive treatment options.
- We can spot the disease in the early stages: As we discussed above, a large portion of those diagnosed with the disease die within just a few years due to late diagnosis. To ensure you remain healthy and help increase the potential of a full recovery, you want the disease discovered in the earliest stages. With two annual checkups you can ensure the doctor quickly notices the possible warning signs, which may include sores or lesions that do not heal after 14 days, unexplained bleeding, sudden weight loss, changes in voice, or chronic hoarseness.
- The procedure may be covered by your dental insurance: Many plans consider checkups and screenings preventive, which means they are included in the coverage, You will of course need to talk to insurance company about what procedures are covered to be sure.
- We can perform a biopsy: We can perform one of two possible biopsies. The first is performed with a brush, taking a small sample of the area. The more thorough option is performed with a scalpel.
ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX DENTIST
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, please contact us at (254) 776-4888. Our office welcomes patients living in Waco, Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and nearby cities.