Cancer is a word that strikes terror into the heart of any sensible person. We know about lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer, but how many of us ever think of oral cancer? Not many – it just doesn’t get the same attention. But did you know that oral cancer kills one person each and every hour in the United States? And it’s not easily detectable.
If you knew that there was an easy test that could let you know if you had oral cancer, would you take it? Of course you would. And you can get screened very easily, simply by having regular dental checkups. It’s fast, it’s painless, and it can identify your risk of oral cancer in a heartbeat.
How Does it Work?
An oral cancer examination identifies little changes in the tissue of your tongue, lips and mouth. It’s visual, tactile, and non-invasive. If we see anything that looks wrong, we send it off to a lab for further analysis.
Am I at Risk?
You could be. You might think that because you’re young, you’re not at risk. And in fact, oral cancer mostly affects people over 40. But younger people can also be affected, largely because of the rapidly-spreading Human Papilloma (HPV16) virus. Additionally, if you smoke or have been exposed to the sun over a long time, you could be at risk.
How Do I Know?
Your best protection is thorough screening through regular dental examinations. We’ll look for swellings, lumps, white areas and more. And if we find anything unusual, we’ll advise a biopsy.
Come and See Us
If you notice anything abnormal in your mouth – sores, color changes, etc. – then come and see us. Chances are that we’ll find you don’t have cancer. But the only way to be sure is by being checked. And if you do have it, then early diagnosis is your first step toward a cure.
Text Copyright © 2015 Louis K. Cheung DDS PS – All rights reserved. Images used under license from Dear Doctor, Inc.