Over 450,000 people worldwide will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. While tobacco use and having a family history can increase your risk, anyone can get oral cancer. Early detection by your dentist in Woodbridge VA can save your life!
Oral cancer includes cancers both in the oral cavity and even your throat. Your lips, cheeks, soft tissues, tongue, and even your sinuses can all experience oral cancer.
The average age to be diagnosed with oral cancer is 62, as oral cancer typically takes years to develop. Oral cancer screenings with Dr. Uthman in Woodbridge VA can help detect oral cancer early and potentially save your life.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Anyone can get oral cancer, but the following are a few risk factors which evidence has shown may increase your risk for developing the disease:
- Tobacco and marijuana use
- Frequent or heavy alcohol use
- A family history of oral cancer
- Poor oral health
- A diet low in vegetables and fruits
Taking care of your oral and bodily health—including eating a healthy diet—and reducing or eliminating your use of tobacco and alcohol may help reduce your risk of oral cancer.
How Your Dentist in Woodbridge VA Can Help
Since people typically see their dentist more often than their doctor, dentists are in an ideal position to be able to identify oral cancer early.
Symptoms of oral cancer could include a sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal, a lump in your neck or throat, a red or white patch in your mouth, difficulty swallowing, or feeling like something is perpetually stuck in your throat.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s time to get an oral cancer screening from your dentist in Woodbridge.
Your dentist can help by identifying oral cancer early so that you can receive the treatment you need. In fact, an early diagnosis can result in less aggressive treatment and improve your chances of overcoming the disease.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a simple, non-invasive process that can be done during your checkup with us at Potomac Family Dental. During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Uthman will conduct an oral exam, which includes inspecting your gums, cheeks, tongue, and floor and roof of your mouth.
Your dentist will also examine the lymph nodes in your neck for lumps as well as your jaw, lips, and face for any abnormalities that could signal that oral cancer is present. Dr. Uthman may also ask you a few questions to better assess your risk for oral cancer.
An oral cancer screening is not painful and should be done once every year beginning at age 18. For smokers, the screenings should ideally begin at the age smoking starts and continue annually.
Contact Us Today!
Potomac Family Dental performs oral cancer screenings as a routine part of your comprehensive exam with us. Call us to schedule an appointment today or to learn more about our oral cancer screenings at (703) 348-8070.