Oral Cancer Screening in Falls Church
Exactly what is a cancer screening? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that a screening is simply an examination for cancer before any symptoms become evident. For many types of cancer, a screening can detect early cancer or pre-cancer when the disease is far easier to treat. One such cancer is oral cancer. That’s why Dr. Berrada makes a point of conducting oral cancer screening in Falls Church whenever patients come in for their regular dental checkups.
Oral Cancer by the Numbers
The numbers are a bit shocking:
- 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer annually.
- Only 50% of those diagnosed will live five years beyond their diagnosis.
- 9,500 deaths each year are the result of oral cancer.
- Sadly, many of those deaths could have been prevented with an oral cancer screening.
Be Aware of the Signs
During your checkup, your dental hygienist and your Falls Church dentist will carefully check for signs that may be indicative of the early stage of oral cancer. These appointments, however, only happen twice a year. During the months in between, Dr. Berrada needs you to be on the lookout for anything unusual, too. If you do see or feel something out of the ordinary, then please call our dental office to schedule a visit sooner than your next checkup.
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer that everyone should be aware of include:
- A sore anywhere in your mouth or on your lips that hasn’t healed after more than a couple of weeks
- A spot in your soft tissue that has a lump or feels thicker
- A smooth or scaly lesion that can be either red or white
- A hoarse voice or a chronic sore throat
- A spot in your mouth that is numb to the touch
- An earache, but no infection
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or talking
Oral Cancer Screening Step-by-Step
During your oral cancer screening at Tysons Dental Esthetics, our trained staff will visually check your mouth, tongue, lips, and cheeks for outward signs of anything that looks suspicious. We’ll be sure to look underneath your tongue, along with the sides, and at the back of your throat. Lastly, your dentist will gently feel along your jaw and neck, checking for any swelling. If further investigation is necessary, our dentists will work with you to make sure you receive the proper diagnosis.
An oral cancer screening can truly save a life. If you need to schedule a dental checkup with an oral cancer screening, then contact Tysons Dental Esthetics today.