Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer has become a large-scale health threat in the U.S. with 100 new cases diagnosed each day. Cancer in the mouth occurs because of alcohol and tobacco use and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted by sexual contact. When detected in its early stages, oral cancer has a 90 percent cure rate but since most cases are not found until the late stages, the death rate is 45 percent in the five years after diagnosis. This is why regular oral screening is so important.
How Oral Cancer Screening is Done
When a patient has a routine exam that includes a checkup and cleaning, the dentist will conduct a visual inspection of the mouth for signs of cancer. In addition, a patient who has an unexplained ulcer, crack, lump or bump in the mouth should schedule a screening immediately.
Oral cancer is a serious disease that is on the rise. All patients should consider having a thorough screening each year as it could be lifesaving.