FAQS about Oral Cancer Screenings
Need to get an oral cancer screening from us? Don’t worry; we’ll give you the skinny on this simple diagnostic evaluation.
It’s important to visit our Cedar Park, TX dentist, Dr. Jason Dyson, every six months. Why? Besides the obvious dental cleanings and exams, we can also perform a quick oral cancer screening. Find out more about what puts someone at risk for oral cancer and what a screening involves.
Q. Is an oral cancer screening a normal part of my routine dental checkup?
A. Getting an oral cancer screening should be a typical portion of your routine checkups. When you come in for your preventive exams we will check your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. It only takes a couple minutes and it could just save your life.
Q. Is a screening painful?
A. Absolutely not! All we do is look in your mouth for any unusual growths. If you are experiencing any symptoms like a chronic sore throat or cough these are things you should let us know about right away. Only if we find something suspicious will we need to do additional testing. The best way to determine whether a growth or lump is cancer is to get a biopsy. Early detection is vitally important and by performing a biopsy we can determine whether the growth is benign or cancerous.
Q. What puts you at risk for oral cancer?
A. There are several factors that could increase your chances of developing oral cancer including:
- Smoking or tobacco usage
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- HPV infection
- Gender (men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer)
- Long-term exposure to UV light
- Certain genetic conditions
Q. How often should I be screened?
A. If you don’t have any risk factors and you have never had oral cancer in the past then you can get away with only getting screened once a year during your routine checkups. If you are at a high risk of developing oral cancer or if you have been diagnosed in the past then you may need to come in more often for routine screenings.
Is it time for your six-month dental cleaning? Do you have questions about oral cancer screenings? Don’t hesitate to call Parmer Oaks Dental Care in Cedar Park, TX today to schedule your next visit or to get your questions answered.