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The Importance of Regular Oral Cancer Screenings

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on October 10, 2014


A female patient in a dentist’s office, holding a cup and smiling as an oral hygienist reviews x-rays of her mouthMany people think of general dentistry care and routine dental exams in particular as things that can be put off until a more convenient time arrives. Unfortunately, for some of these people, a more convenient time never arrives, and they fail to visit the dentist until they suffer severe tooth pain, the loss of a tooth, advanced gum disease, or another oral health problem requiring intensive, and often expensive, treatment.

What may surprise you is that the above scenario is actually a relief compared to what could occur as a result of neglecting one’s oral health. Among the most important reasons to visit the dentist at least twice a year for comprehensive exams is that you will receive an oral cancer screening. Such screenings are important for all people, but particularly those who are at greatest risk for developing oral cancer.

At the general dentistry practice of Dr. Eugene Stanislaus in Brooklyn, oral cancer screenings help to save lives and give our patients invaluable peace of mind. If you haven’t undergone a thorough dental exam in the past year or longer, don’t delay - pay a visit to Brooklyn Heights Dental today. We can help to ensure that your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

It is important to note that anyone can get oral cancer at any time, even if a person does not have any of the following risk factors. However, the more of these factors that apply to you, the more urgent it is that you have your mouth screened regularly:

  • Age: Approximately two-thirds of patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 55, with the average patient being 62 years old.
  • Gender: Men are roughly twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
  • Diet: People who consume relatively few fruits and vegetables as part of their diets are at increased risk of oral cancer.
  • Genetics: Those with a family history of cancer, and oral cancer in particular, are at increased risk.
  • Tobacco use: Approximately 80 percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer use or have used tobacco. There is no safe form of tobacco use; cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and pipes are all associated with a heightened risk of oral cancer.
  • Alcohol consumption: Heavy alcohol consumption is another common trait among those diagnosed with oral cancer, usually in conjunction with tobacco use. Together, alcohol and tobacco use may increase the risk of oral cancer by as much as 100 percent.

The Bad News and the Good News

The bad news is that the death rate associated with oral cancer is among the highest of any cancer because it is usually diagnosed late in its development, when it is most difficult to treat.

The good news for you and your loved ones is that routine dental appointments can help to prevent and protect you from oral cancer. In its earliest stages, oral cancer is actually one of the easiest cancers to detect, identify, and treat. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, Dr. Stanislaus can locate any and all abnormal tissues in the mouth and perform tests to determine whether they are cancerous or pre-cancerous. By attending regular appointments, you can help to ensure that you catch any irregular growths in your mouth before they have the chance to develop into something more serious.

Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening

To schedule your oral cancer screening, please contact Brooklyn Heights Dental today.

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