It’s certainly true that those who use tobacco are at higher risk for oral cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, consider why your dentist performs an oral cancer screening on every patient.
Other Risk Factors
The fact remains that your risk could still be increased by having a history of oral cancer in your family, or even simply by your age. Those over the age of 55 are at higher risk. There are likely many other factors as yet unknown as to how they can cause cancer.
Catching It Before It’s Too Late
Sometimes, aggressive forms of cancer can develop rapidly between regular dental visits. For the most part, however, small signs of cancer can be detected in your dentist’s office before they become large symptoms that you discover at home. The earlier your dentist can find and diagnose oral cancer, the greater your chances become that treatment will be minimal, complete, and the least painful possible. Healing time will be quicker, and chances of the cancer returning will be lower.
A Wise Use of Time
Your dentist could be wasting precious time by screening patients based upon risk factors, alone. If your dentist concluded that you don’t need an oral cancer screening simply because you don’t smoke, he could end up missing a dangerous change in your mouth. The most careful approach is to simply screen all patientsfor potential signs of oral cancer.
Cancer can be a scary thing to deal with. Whenever and for whatever reason cancer rears its ugly head, your dentist wants to prepare you to minimize the effects of cancer by discovering it and treating it as soon as possible.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
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