Cancer is one of the biggest challenges facing modern medicine. It can affect any part of the body and lead to devastating effects and a long and painful treatment process. While breast cancer and lung cancer are often in the spotlight, other types of cancer, such as ones that affect the mouth, may not get the attention they deserve. However, it is important to receiving screenings for all types of serious conditions, including abnormal cell growth in your mouth. Why is oral cancer screening in Cherry Hill so vital?
Early Diagnosis Saves Lives
Getting screened for oral cancer can make the difference between life and death. The longer the condition goes undetected, the more time it has to sneak into other parts of the body. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, five-year survival rates for mouth and throat cancer are as follows:
- 83 percent for cancer that hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.
- 62 percent if it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- 38 percent if it has spread to distant parts of the body.
Risk Factors for and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Cancer can strike anyone, but lifestyle choices and genetic factors can increase or decrease the chances that this disease will affect your mouth. If any of the following are true of you, you are at a much higher risk for oral cancer:
- You consume 21 or more alcoholic drinks each week.
- You have contracted the human papilloma virus, or HPV.
- You use tobacco.
If you have any of the risk factors for oral cancer, it’s especially important for you to know your body and be alert to signs that something isn’t right. Some early signs of oral cancer include:
- Red or white patches in your mouth.
- Sores or ulcers in your mouth that do not heal.
- A swollen, hard lymph node in your neck or throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Tender or pain in your gums or teeth.
Screening Can Be Quick and Painless
If you have any of the risk factors for oral cancer, or you’ve noticed unusual symptoms in your mouth, you should head to your dentist in Cherry Hill for a screening. However, keep in mind that not all victims of this condition smoke or drink. It would be wise for all adults to get screened.
Dr. Polansky in Cherry Hill uses a visual examination to check for signs of cancer. However, he also uses VELscope, a machine that employs fluorescence-based technology to look for tissue abnormalities. A special light makes cancerous cells stand out from the surrounding areas.
Don’t let mouth cancer claim you as its next victim. Getting screened can give you peace of mind or maybe even save your life!
About the Author
Dr. Barry Polansky has decades of experience in dentistry. He wants to provide comprehensive oral healthcare for his patience, and that includes helping them get ahead of oral cancer. If it’s time for you to get screened or you have any questions about caring for your mouth, contact our office at 856-795-1121.