Oral Cancer Screenings in Sacramento
Oral cancer screenings are extremely important for your overall health. Oral cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. This is because it is often not detectable until it has metastasized, and spread throughout the rest of the body.
It is very difficult to identify mouth cancer. Early stages of oral cancer can only be detected by a qualified, experienced dentist, such as Dr. Redford at Redford Smiles.
To schedule an oral cancer screening now, call our office at (916) 565-2570. Learn more about the importance of regular oral cancer screenings below.
Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
Yes. You should get an oral cancer screening, especially if you have never had one before. Yearly oral cancer screenings are recommended for all adults over the age of 18, especially if you conform to known risk factors, including tobacco/alcohol use.
Oral cancer screenings are fast, non-invasive, and can usually be performed alongside other general dentistry treatments, such as 6-month dental hygiene appointments and oral exams.
Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important
Oral cancer screenings are important because the stage at which oral cancer is diagnosed is directly linked to expected health outcomes.
Patients with oral cancer that is detected at Stage 1 or 2 – before metastasizing throughout the body – have an 83% 5-year survival rate. At Stage 3, this rate drops to 62% – and at Stage 4, the survival rate sinks to 38%.
Early stages of oral cancer often affect soft tissues in the mouth. Issues like sores and irritated tissue are common, as are small lumps and abnormalities. These problems can often be misdiagnosed if you do not get screened for oral cancer.
Because it is nearly impossible to self-diagnose yourself for early stages of oral cancer, it is absolutely essential that you see Dr. Redford in Sacramento for a regular, yearly oral cancer screening.
How Long Does An Oral Cancer Screening Take?
Typically, an oral cancer screening takes less than 5 minutes. Dr. Redford will perform a comprehensive, holistic exam, and look at all of the areas of soft tissue in your mouth for abnormalities.
Common abnormalities that may signal oral cancer include discolored patches or raised areas on the oral tissue, lips, or roof of the mouth. Irritated or inflamed patches of tissue may also be a cause for concern.
Dr. Redford will examine your entire oral cavity, and provide you with a recommendation based on his findings.
What Are The Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?
In very early stages, oral cancer is usually relatively symptomless. However, the presence of one or more of these symptoms may indicate the presence of oral cancer:
- Sores on lips/mouth that will not heal
- Lumps on lips, mouth, throat
- White/red patches on gums, tongue, mouth lining
- Unusual numbness, bleeding, or pain in mouth
- Feeling of something being “caught in your throat”
- Swelling around the jaw
- Loose/painful teeth
- Pain/difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Lump/swelling/mass on neck that does not go away
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Redford right away for an oral cancer exam.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Oral Cancer?
Anyone can develop oral cancer. However, not all groups are at the same risk. Men develop oral cancer at twice the rate of women, and the average age of diagnosis is 62.
However, most cases of oral cancer are unrelated to genetic factors, but are linked to lifestyle-based risk factors.
Tobacco use is the single largest cause of oral cancer. It has been estimated that 70-85% of head and neck cancer cases are caused directly by tobacco use. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snus (smokeless tobacco), and all other forms of tobacco use.
If you are a smoker, or have smoked in the past, your risk of developing oral cancer is much higher, and you should have a regular oral cancer screening with Dr. Redford.
Heavy alcohol use is also associated with higher rates of oral cancer, especially when used with tobacco. UV exposure is also a major risk factor. Those who are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time due to tanning, outdoor work, or other lifestyle choices may have a higher risk of developing lip cancers.
Those who have a compromised immune system, due to disease or immunosuppressants, or have the HPV virus may also have a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
When you come in for your consultation with Dr. Redford, you will discuss any and all lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of developing mouth cancer. This will help Dr. Redford track any changes in your oral health, and get a more in-depth understanding of your oral cancer risk.
Call Us Today To Schedule An Oral Cancer Screening
The importance of regular oral cancer screening by a dentist such as Dr. Redford cannot be overstressed. Oral cancer is dangerous, deadly, and hard to detect.
Because it is hard to identify mouth cancer on your own, you are putting yourself at risk if you do not get regular oral cancer screenings. This is especially true if you are a smoker, or have smoked regularly in the past.
Don’t leave your health up to chance. If you are in Sacramento and need an oral cancer screening, come to Redford Smiles today. Dr. Redford can discuss your risk of developing oral cancer, and perform a comprehensive oral examination to identify mouth cancer, if present.
With years of experience screening patients and diagnosing oral cancers, Dr. Redford can help you take control of your health. He can ensure that your mouth is cancer-free. If he detects any potential issues, he will provide you with information about possible diagnoses, next steps, and treatment options.
So call us today at (916)-565-2570 for an oral cancer screening, or visit our office at 79 Scripps Dr. Suite 204, Sacramento, CA 95825.