April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, which is a good time to remind you of the importance of regular oral cancer screenings.
About 48,250 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the Unites States this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. In America, oral cancer causes about 1 death per hour.
Early detection gives the best chance of curing oral cancer. Preventive dentistry saves lives.
Having a screening is easy. During general dentistry routine checkups, you will be screened for cancer or precancerous conditions and you do not need special preparation beforehand. Having checkups twice a year also helps to prevent common dental problems.
If abnormal cells are found, you may:
- Have a follow-up checkup in a few weeks, so the abnormal cells can be inspected for changes.
- Have a biopsy performed on the cells to determine if they are cancerous.
If you have risk factors which increase the probability that you have oral cancer, then getting screened is even more important. These risk factors include:
- Tobacco use. Use of all tobacco products raise your risk of developing oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis.
- Sun exposure. The risk of developing lip cancer increases with sun exposure.
Abstaining from tobacco products and alcohol can help to lower your risk. So can limiting sun exposure and using UV protection.
If you are in the Hoboken area and would like to schedule an oral cancer screening, contact the Practice at Maxwell Place using the form on this page or call 201-792-9400 today.