Dentist in Cary for Oral Cancer Screenings
When you visit your dentist in Cary, you know that regular care is vital for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but did you know that it is also important for an oral cancer screening? It is estimated that over 49,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a form of oral cancer this year. Unfortunately, only a little over half will survive longer than 5 years. The low survival rate is often due to late detection. Thankfully, regular screenings can help to detect 80% of new oral cancer cases early. To benefit from early detection, Dr. Darren Koch offers the screening you need at your routine dental appointments.
Benefit from Early Detection
All too often, oral cancer is not found until it has reached advanced stages or metastasized to other areas of the body. As a result, a little more than 9,000 people die every year from it. The key to successful treatment relies on early detection.
The goal of an oral cancer screening is to detect cancerous or precancerous cells early to provide quick intervention. Dr. Koch will perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth to look for any areas of concern, such as:
- Swelling or thickening of the soft tissues in and near the mouth.
- Lumps, bumps, or rough patches on the oral tissues.
- White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth.
- Unexplained oral bleeding.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or tenderness.
- Persistent sores.
- Changes to the alignment of your teeth or bite.
Although anyone can develop oral cancer, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of it, including:
- Tobacco use in any form
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- History of oral cancer
- Significant sun exposure of the lips
- Family history
Routine Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are a simple and painless way to monitor your health. You will not require any special preparation. After performing a cleaning and checkup, Dr. Koch will evaluate the tissues in and near your mouth, as well as your neck. In addition to a visual examination, he will also feel for lumps or abnormalities that may indicate a problem.
In some cases, a special rinse can be used to highlight potentially abnormal cells. If there are any present, they will be dyed blue. A shining light may also be used during the exam because it allows healthy tissue to appear darker, while abnormal areas will be white.
If Dr. Koch finds an area of concern, he will recommend additional testing, like a biopsy. This will involve removing a small sample of cells to be tested in a lab. He will then notify you of the results and if any additional follow up care is needed.
Protect Your Health!
During your next appointment for a cleaning and checkup, ask your Cary dentist about an oral cancer screening. With a regular exam, you can monitor your health to detect cancer early.
If you need an oral cancer screening, do not wait. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.