Oral cancer screenings
We perform oral cancer screenings during every dental cleaning and exam. Early detection is key in treating oral cancer, so these screenings are very important to our team.
Quick facts about oral cancer
- Close to 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year.
- Oral cancer kills roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
- Of those 49,750 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in five years. (Approximately 57%)
- If you both smoke and drink alcohol regularly you have a 15 times greater risk of developing oral cancer.
Who’s at risk for oral cancer?
Historically oral cancer occurs in those over the age of 40. However, the fastest growing population to be diagnosed are non-smokers under the age of 50. Studies are showing this may be due to the increase presence of the HPV 16 virus. Age, smoking and alcohol are still the highest risk factors for oral cancer.
How do oral cancer screenings work?
At each preventive appointment the hygienist will perform a full head and neck examination. This includes checking for inflamed lymph nodes, visually examining the back of the throat, and palpating under the tongue to detect anything abnormal.
What do we do if we find something?
If an area of concern is found and can be reached, we will take a biopsy right away here in the office. We would use our laser, which allows for the area to have a faster healing time and no sutures would be needed. We work closely with the pathology department at The Ohio State University to get you peace of mind.