Oral Cancer Screening:
Early Detection Saves Lives
Early stage oral cancer is painless and stealthy. Without proper oral cancer screening, it often progresses undetected until it is an obvious problem. Tragically, advanced oral cancer only has a 50% survival rate at 5 years. Don’t gamble – Be sure to be screened. Dr. Klingonsmith screens his all of his patients for free during their dental checkups.
What else can I do?
You can’t avoid growing older or being a man (genetically). But time and gender, while being risk factors, are mostly influenced by lifestyle choices. Nicotine, alcohol, HPV (a sexually transmitted disease), poor diet and excessive sun exposure all correlate strongly with oral cancer. In fact, 80-90% of people diagnosed with oral cancer take part in these activities. Frequency and quantity of these behaviors are directly proportional to risk. If you live hard, you are more at risk.
Stay alert for warning signs of oral cancer and report your concerns.
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Klingonsmith and his hygienists meticulously check every aspect of your mouth: lips, gums, tongue, and oral tissues during your regular checkups. We will look for whitish patches, persistent mouth sores, tissue color changes, spots that hurt, tenderness, or numbness, or any changes in your bite over time. Partner with them. Report if you have noticed any difficulties in chewing, swallowing, speaking, moving your jaw, or moving your tongue. Don’t be afraid to ask for reassurance if you see or feel something unusual in your mouth or throat.
On a personal note, I was diagnosed with Mucoepidermoid carcinoma in 2008. When you see me next, feel free to ask about my story. I have a unique perspective as both a doctor and a patient. Early detection saves lives.