When Should I Consider a Tennessee Oral Cancer Screening?

January 16th, 2013

In Tennessee, an oral cancer screening should be scheduled as part of your annual dental exam. According to the National Cancer Institute, screening before you have any symptoms is the best way to detect oral cancer at an early stage. If oral cancer is detected at an early stage, there is a higher probability that the cancer can be treated. Current treatment methods on early stages of cancer have proven highly successful in Tennessee and across the nation. A trusted Tennessee periodontist can help you with your oral screening and walk you through the process.

Oral cancer can occur in all adults, regardless of general health and lifestyle choices. In fact, one in every four patients diagnosed with a form of oral cancer are considered “low-risk.” Adults over the age of 40 are at higher risk of getting oral cancer. Other factors that can increase risk are: use of tobacco products (smoking, chewing, and smokeless devices), heavy alcohol use, exposure to HPV (Human papillomavirus), and being male. High exposure to sunlight can increase risk of lip cancer. If you have one or more of these risk factors, you should schedule an oral cancer screening during your next dental visit.

Due to an increase in awareness, early detection, and improved treatment options, oral-cancer related deaths have decreased over the last thirty years according to the National Cancer Institute. Even so, millions of new cases of oral cancer are detected each year. It is always best to take a pro-active approach to your dental health. Using good oral hygiene techniques with regular brushing and flossing, refraining from tobacco and alcohol abuse, and scheduling regular dental checkups with an annual oral cancer screening are all important steps in cancer prevention.

If you or a loved one are in need of an oral cancer screening, contact our experienced Tennessee periodontists to discuss your available options.