Too many people believe that they are impervious to the threat of cancer. Oral cancer, in particular, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. While it is neither the most common nor the most talked about form of cancer, it is a widespread problem that touches countless lives each year. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to think about how you can protect yourself from this devastating disease. One way in which you can do so is by visiting your dentist for an oral cancer screening in Midtown East. Let’s talk about why getting screened is so vital.
Your Risk May Be Greater Than You Think
According to a common misconception, only individuals who smoke or chew tobacco are at risk for oral cancer. While it is true that tobacco use is a major contributor to oral cancer, there are numerous other risk factors, including prolonged sun exposure, an unbalanced diet, and heavy alcohol consumption. The human papilloma virus (HPV) can also lead to oral cancer. Many people aren’t even aware that they have HPV because it doesn’t always present obvious symptoms.
Even if you believe you have none of the risk factors for oral cancer, that’s no reason not to get screened. Anyone, regardless of their gender, lifestyle, or daily habits, can develop this disease.
The Signs and Symptoms Are Subtle
There are a number of signs and symptoms of oral cancer, including strange lumps in or around the mouth, patches of discoloration, a persistent sore throat, and more. Sometimes, these signs are obvious. In other cases, however, they’re so subtle that you might not notice that anything is wrong. Your dentist in Midtown East has the training, experience, and technology necessary to identify even subtle signs of early cancer. A professional screening is often a key to early detection, and early detection is often a key to survival.
The Screening Process Is Fast and Painless
There is no reason to dread your oral cancer screening. The process is simple, fast, and painless. Many dentists include a screening as part of a routine checkup. During the screening, your dentist or hygienist will perform a quick visual and tactile examination of your tongue, gums, lips, cheeks, and the surrounding structures. They may also ask you questions to determine whether you’ve been experiencing any symptoms that might point to cancer. If your screening reveals anything that warrants further testing, your dentist will help you arrange for a biopsy.
When was the last time you got screened for oral cancer? If it has been more than one year, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A simple examination could save your life!
About Drs. Boyd
We are a multi-generational, family-operated dental practice in New York City’s Midtown East area. We greatly value our patients’ oral health and overall well-being, which is why we always include an oral cancer screening as part of a basic checkup. If you would like to get screened, or you have other concerns about your oral health, contact our office today at 212-755-9055.