It’s April, and that means it’s also time to ask: when was your last oral cancer screening? This month is Oral Cancer Awareness month, and your dentist in Colorado Springs would like to remind you that adult patients should have a screening along with their regular checkups and cleanings at least annually. So this month, schedule a visit with Dr. Kenneth Gasper. Doing so could save your life!
Oral Cancer: An Overview
Oral cancer is cancer of the lips, cheeks, tongue, hard or soft palate, or neck. It can go undiagnosed for years, but early detection of oral cancer can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment and positive outcomes.
Unfortunately, public awareness of oral cancer is low, and the need for regular screenings for adults is absolutely vital. The frequency of the disease is rising along with the spread of human papillomavirus in the US, and it is estimated that one American dies from the disease each hour. Oral cancer affects younger and healthier patients each year.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a brief visual and tactile examination that Dr. Gasper can perform at the end of your checkup and cleaning. He begins by talking to you about your oral health — because often, no one knows better about the changes going on inside your mouth than you. He’ll ask you if you have noticed anything differently lately, and about the details if you have. Then, he’ll look closely at the soft and hard tissues in and around your mouth, and feel for any lumps in your cheeks and neck.
If a suspicious area is detected during the examination, we will help you plan for your next steps. We may suggest you come back in a few weeks to see if the area has changed. If the area seems especially significant, we may recommend you get a biopsy for effective and prompt treatment. Our team can make a good recommendation for an outside specialist if biopsy is needed.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
In addition to undergoing regular examinations, make sure you watch out for the warning signs of oral cancer to help with early detection and prompt treatment if you do have the disease. Any type of lump, bump, or sore that does not go away after two weeks is cause for concern. Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away if you suspect something is going on with your oral health.
The warning signs of oral cancer include…
- Lumps, bumps, sore spots in the soft oral tissues
- Irregularly colored patches
- Changing facial symmetry
- Persistently sore throat
- Change in tone of voice
Request an Appointment During April!
Don’t forget that April is Oral Cancer Awareness month! Your family dentist in Colorado Springs is honoring the month by reminding patients that it’s time to schedule an appointment for a screening. We want to improve outcomes for patients with oral cancer in Colorado Springs, and we do that with frequent screenings. Schedule an appointment at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design today!